According to a recent report by Football Insider, Derby County have set their sights on signing Oxford United defender Rob Dickie in the January transfer window.
Current Derby boss Phillip Cocu has suffered a defensive crisis this season.
Richard Keogh’s off-field incident saw the Irishman sacked by the club. And loan defender Matt Clarke is currently in the treatment room following a lengthy injury.
Derby’s current central defensive pairing is Curtis Davies who turns 35 next year, and former left-back Craig Forsyth who has come back from a long-term ACL injury.
It’s far from ideal. And following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Millwall, Cocu singled out a lack of courage from his defenders in terms of playing the ball out from the back.
He told RamsTV: “We’ve struggled all season [for creativity and goals]. We played too direct in the first half. There would have been better options if we had more courage to play out from the back.”
Why Rob Dickie would be ideal for Derby County:
Davies and Forsyth aren’t ball-playing defenders. The latter ranks as Derby’s 17th most accurate passer in the squad with a 75.3% pass-accuracy rate. That is worrying.
Oxford’s Dickie, meanwhile, has an 86.2% pass-accuracy rate. Only one current Derby player betters that statistic – holding midfielder Graeme Shinnie.
Dickie has been instrumental in Oxford’s rise. Aside from his excellent passing stats, the 23-year-old has three assists and helped keep nine League One clean sheets this term.
The Mirror claim he could be the next Harry Maguire coming up from the lower leagues.
Maguire is similar in frame, excellent on the ball and dominant in the air. The England international started out at Sheffield United in League One, before trading Leicester City for Manchester United in a record £80 million deal last summer.
Derby need to rebuild and change their transfer policy. Dickie ticks all the boxes, and he’s a player the Rams should push for as early as this coming January.