Two centre-halves Derby County should sign in the summer
Derby County have lost their way in recent weeks and it certainly will take Frank Lampard’s men more than just a win to get over the blip. They haven’t convinced in recent weeks and need to go on a run of six to seven wins to get into the playoffs.
Lampard has done a good job at Pride Park in what has been his debut in management. Whether Derby County achieve promotion or not, the former Chelsea midfielder will need to strengthen his squad over the summer to get to the levels of Norwich City and Leeds United.
One area that needs thorough reinforcing is the defence, with a couple of central defenders a need of the hour. The Rams did sign free agent Efe Ambrose in February on a short-term deal until the end of the season to cover the loss of Curtis Davies, who has been ruled out for this campaign. Meanwhile, Richard Keogh will turn 33 in August and Fikayo Tomori will head back to Chelsea after the expiry of his loan spell at Pride Park in summer.
To avoid a defensive crisis ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, Lampard should add two defenders to his squad. Here are two names the Rams could take a look at in the summer.
Jake Cooper (Millwall)
A product of the Reading academy, Jake Cooper has impressed for Millwall for the past two seasons in the Championship. He has established himself as a defensive lynchpin for the Lions this season, playing 39 times in all competitions till date.
The 24-year-old is blessed with a towering frame and strength which he uses to dominate the opposition and win almost every aerial duel. Cooper is also composed in possession and rarely flusters in pressure situations. His 6ft 4in frame makes him an asset on both ends of the pitch, with the defender scoring four goals and setting up seven—a remarkable return for a centre-back.
At 24, Cooper has already gained solid Championship experience and could be a fantastic long-term investment for Derby County.
Wilfried Kanon (ADO Den Haag)
Den Haag defender Wilfried Kanon has impressed with his performances in the Eredivisie this campaign. He can operate as a central defender or as a left-back.
The Ivorian has been on the books of ADO Den Haag since 2013 and is a very experienced footballer. Kanon could be a fantastic fit for Derby County, who arguably need to strengthen their defensive options at Pride Park.
At 25, the Abidjan-born star is yet to enter his prime and his aggressive and no-nonsense style of defending would make him a perfect fit for Championship football. He would probably represent a big risk since he has no previous experience of the Championship but Lampard should take the gamble as has shown his quality in the Netherlands.