Matt Derbyshire at Nottingham Forest
It is fair to say the surprise appointment of Thomas Christiansen as Leeds United’s new manager divided the fanbase. And so will the identity of his first transfer target at Elland Road.
The Daily Mail claim that Matt Derbyshire will be offered a return to English football by the 44-year-old tactician – just a few months after he tried to bring the Omonia Nicosia striker to former club APOEL.
However, the rivalry between the two Cypriot clubs meant they were unable to strike a deal. Though, on the basis of Derbyshire’s goalscoring record over in Southern Europe, the former Blackburn and Birmingham forward could be worth the risk for Leeds.
In 33 games in the Cypriot first division last season, Derbyshire hit the back of the net on 24 occasions – earning him the league’s golden boot award.
And with Leeds second highest goal-scorer behind Chris Wood netting just six in the Championship in 2016/17, a player with Derbyshire’s dead-eyed finishing could go some way to ensuring they do not repeat last season’s late collapse.
However, it is not just Leeds who could do with a goal-scorer. Though only Barnsley were more prolific than Nottingham Forest in the bottom half of the Championship last season, manager Mark Warburton could benefit from enhancing his attacking options.
Britt Assombalonga started just 20 games last season thanks to injury, wonder kid Ben Brereton is unproven across a whole season and Apostalos Vellios appears to be out of favour.
Britt Assombalonga scored 14 goals last season but fitness remains a concern
And Derbyshire knows Forest well, having netted ten times for the club in the 2013/14 campaign. Ending the season with five goals in five games after being given a regular run in the side by caretaker boss Gary Brazil, it was something of a surprise when the 31-year-old was released and moved to Rotherham United on a free.
Though, if Leeds get any encouragement that Derbyshire may be available, Forest should at least consider giving him a second chance.