Could Steve McClaren use friendship with Liverpool boss to solve striker crisis?

Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert could prove to be the perfect loan option for Derby County, but Steve McClaren would have to call in some favours to land him.

Derby County are currently at a critical stage of their season and could be without a recognised first-team striker for at least the next two games.

According to the Derby Telegraph, the Rams are currently looking to the loan market after Darren Bent was ruled out for three to four weeks with a hamstring injury. Top goalscorer, Chris Martin, is also out with injury and according to Derby assistant manager, Paul Simpson, will miss at least the next two games.

The injuries couldn’t have come at a worse time for Steve McClaren, who will be desperate to see his side preserve their lead at the top of the table on Tuesday night against Brighton, but his connections in the game usually mean he is one phone call away from a suitable replacement.

In October last year, he proved that to be the case after he brought in former England goalkeeper Jack Butland on a month's loan just one day after announcing an injury to first-choice 'keeper Lee Grant.

The former England boss may have to work similar magic now, if he is to ensure his side don’t lose ground on the chasing pack over the next week or two.

Could Rickie Lambert realistically join Derby County?

Derby will be desperate not to lose ground in the promotion race, especially at such a critical time of the year.

The East Midlands side have shown, with the January acquisitions of Jesse Lingard, Raul Albentosa, Stephen Warnock, Darren Bent and Tom Ince, they are not afraid of putting their hand in their pocket to fund a strong push for promotion and the title.

Rickie Lambert, who the Liverpool Echo revealed nearly joined Aston Villa in January, is firmly out of the picture at Anfield despite having been named on the subs' bench in the last three games.

Although wages could be an issue, if a deal could be done for a short period of time until the return of Martin or Bent then it could be beneficial for all parties.

The Rams would have a recognised striker to name in their starting line-up until their forwards return. Lambert would enjoy a good run of first-team football in a side that creates a lot of chances and Liverpool could welcome back a fully-fit, free-scoring Lambert in a month’s time, ready for a key part of their season.

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