Simon Terodde's stunning Stuttgart season will make Derby County wince

Derby manager Gary Rowett

Derby County were battling Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday for Simon Terodde last summer - and he could have been a snip at just £1.5m.

Derby County manager Gary Rowett before the matchDerby County manager Gary Rowett may wish he could call on Simon Terodde

Derby County didn’t just miss out on the play-offs last season, they were never truly in the running for a place in the top six.

Finishing ninth, 13 points adrift of sixth placed Fulham, it’s difficult to trace their failure back to an inability to land one of their summer transfer targets. Yet, if one player could have made the difference at Pride Park last season, it was Simon Terodde.

According to The Sun, the 6ft 4ins frontman had caught the eye of Derby, as well as Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday, after plundering 25 goals in the German second tier for VFL Bochum last season, winning the league’s Golden Boot award. He was reportedly available for as little as £1.5 million.

And it’s fair to say Derby would have relished a striker with Terodde’s eye for goal and lethal finishing. Their top scorer last season was winger Tom Ince on 14.

Between them, strikers Darren Bent, David Nugent and Matej Vydra managed just 21 and the lack of a reliable goalscorer was a major factor in Derby’s failure to make any inroads in the top six during the reins of Nigel Pearson, Steve McClaren or Gary Rowett in 2016/17.

Simon says score

Therefore, although it’s impossible to tell whether Terodde would have adapted to English football, plenty of strikers have struggled in the Championship despite prolific records abroad, he could have made a huge difference to the side with the worst goalscoring tally in the top half of the table.

VfB Stuttgart's Simon Terodde celebrates scoring their second goal Daniel GinczekVfB Stuttgart's Simon Terodde has 50 goals in two league seasons

And, while Derby were toiling in front of goal, Terodde’s purple patch showed no signs of ending. Swapping Bochum for fallen giants Stuttgart last summer instead, the 29-year-old not only inspired the 2007 Bundesliga champions to the second tier title but also seized the Golden Boot again with another 25 goals.

As such, this late bloomer is about to tackle the Bundesliga for the first time since his 2010/11 spell at Cologne. Derby, meanwhile, are still on the lookout of a striker capable of firing them to the Premier League.

VfB Stuttgart's Simon Terodde celebrates scoring their second goal as Wurzburger Kickers' Jorg Siebenhandl looks dejected

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch