Popular pundit Eric Steele has urged his former club Derby County to sign Reading striker Lucas Joao this month as the Rams search for a new striker (BBC Sportscene Podcast).
Derby are among the lowest scorers in the Championship this season.
The Rams’ lack of goals has been a primary cause for their struggles this season as defensively they haven’t been too bad, conceding just three times in eight games.
Colin Kazim-Richards has led the line well. However, the 34-year-old isn’t a long-term option while the sheer number of games will test his fitness levels moving forward.
Speaking to the BBC Sportscene Podcast, former player and Rams goalkeeper coach Eric Steele believes Derby should go out and sign Reading’s Lucas Joao.
“I’d go and sign the boy [Joao] at Reading. If the owners are there and they’re listening, the new owners, show some intent, yeah, go and sign him. He’s been unbelievable for Reading. We’re a bigger club than Reading, surely we can attract players like him.”
Derby are in the middle of takeover involving prospective new owner Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan. Should it go through, funds may be available to spend this month.
A new striker will surely top Derby’s January wish-list.
Reading signed Joao for a reported £5 million from Sheffield Wednesday in 2019. The Portuguese striker is big, strong on the ball and improving in-front of goal.
The 6ft 4inch striker has scored 13 goals in 16 Championship starts for the Royals this term.
Joao scored during Reading’s 2-0 win over Derby on the opening day of the season. Aside from his goals, he physically bullies defenders while linking up with fellow attackers.
The former Sheffield Wednesday man would be ideal for Derby. However, the 27-year-old’s contract at Reading runs until 2023 and he certainly wouldn’t come cheap.
The Rams’ only realistic chance of signing him would be following a successful takeover.