Many tipped both Derby and Middlesbrough for automatic promotion last summer as the duo made a number of high-profile signings that dwarfed their rivals from a financial perspective.
But that does not mean the duo have the perfect team equipped for promotion – at least in Derby’s case there is still room for improvement in one or two key areas.
Paul Clement’s men look terrific at the back, conceding just 13 goals in 22 Championship matches, and they are blessed with an abundance of ability and options in midfield.
Chris Martin, Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann provide options upfront – but what about out wide?
It is an area for improvement, as Weimann is not a natural winger, Tom Ince is arguably better through the middle and Johnny Russell, while talented, is extremely inconsistent.
A new quality winger would give Clement more options and significantly boost his side’s promotion chances, and West Bromwich Albion’s Callum McManaman fits the bill.
The former Wigan Athletic man is out of favour at The Hawthorns, yet the tricky winger has an abundance of ability and would be a real class act at Championship level.
The 24-year-old was instrumental in Wigan’s FA Cup victory in 2013 but has made just ten Premier League appearances for the Baggies, and a move away from the club could be on the cards.
The report lists Hull City and Swansea City as fellow potential suitors, but a move to the iPro would make the most sense with the club on the verge of really taking off.