Sam Gallagher would have been hoping that parent club Southampton were keeping a close eye on his impressive performances on loan at Blackburn Rovers last season.
The 21-year-old did everything he could to keep the Lancashire giants in the Championship, albeit in vain, his 11 league goals and hard-working displays earning him the admiration of an otherwise disillusioned fanbase.
However, after he was left out of Southampton’s opening day clash with Swansea City, it appears that Gallagher could be sent out on loan once again this summer.
The fact that The Saints have now failed to score in each of their last six home fixtures, and Manolo Gabbiadini is yet to rediscover his pre-injury golden touch, doesn’t appear to have convinced the South Coast club to hand their homegrown forward a first-team opportunity.
However, there are plenty of clubs lower down the footballing pyramid willing to make Gallagher their go-to goalscorer.
The Birmingham Mail reported earlier this summer that Aston Villa, Wolves and Cardiff City were all keen but it appears that they have been joined in the race by Derby County.
The Derby Telegraph reports that Gary Rowett’s side, who have scored just once in their first two Championship games of the season, will attempt to land the England youth international on a season-long loan deal.
The Rams’ boss admitted recently that finding a new striker was a priority in the final weeks of the transfer window after Derby mustered the lowest amount of goals in the top half of the Championship last season.
And Gallagher, who has proven himself in the second tier with Blackburn, could be the man required to seize the goalscoring mantle if the likes of Matej Vydra and David Nugent fail to fire again.