Steve McClaren has revealed how he kept things in the family during his pursuit of Real Madrid starlet Omar Mascarell, with his son Joe helping to bring the talented midfielder to Derby County.
It is worth nothing that McClaren junior is on the payroll at the iPro Stadium and that the Rams were not taking an experimental approach to player recruitment by sending family members to conduct transfer talks.
Joe is head of Derby’s U21 scouting team, having held a similar role at his father’s previous employers FC Twente.
It was during his time in Holland that Mascarell first figured on the radar, with his potential noted and closely monitored in the years that have followed.
A window of opportunity presented itself over the summer, and Steve McClaren was more than happy to take advice from a trusted member of his backroom staff before putting wheels in motion.
He said in the Derby Telegraph: “Our recruitment department is very important. When we lost George Thorne to injury it was important we identified somebody to come in.
“Omar is someone who, actually, my son Joe had been watching when he was scouting with Twente for a couple of years.
“He identified Omar and mentioned him. We then kept an eye on him and Chris Evans (head of football operations) went out to Real Madrid and made sure Omar came back here.”
|Position||Match||Goal Assist||Total Tackle||Accurate Pass||Touches||Mins Played|
|Omar Mascarell||MF||Derby vs Wolves||1||2||61||81||89|
Mascarell has been eased into life at Derby, with the Rams aware of the need to avoid expecting too much, too soon of a 21-year-old with limited senior experience.
That approach has paid dividends, with a man who made his only competitive appearance for Real’s first team as a replacement for Mesut Ozil on the final day of the 2012/13 campaign starting to show why he finds himself on the books of one of world football’s most prestigious clubs.
Meetings with English second tier rivals in the Championship may be light years away from competing for top domestic and European honours in the Spanish capital but, as suggested by McClaren, the youngster showed during a 5-0 mauling of Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday that he is a more than capable replacement for cruciate ligament victim George Thorne and could be a key figure in Derby’s pursuit of promotion back to the Premier League.