The Derby forward has been compared to one-time Rams coach Phillips, who won the European Golden Shoe while at Sunderland.

Derby County ex-player Craig Ramage has spoken highly of Rams forward Jack Marriott in the Derby Telegraph, comparing the Pride Park ace to European Golden Shoe winner Kevin Phillips, one of his teammates during his spell at Watford.

Marriott enjoyed a superb debut season at Pride Park following his move from Peterborough United last summer, scoring 12 goals and registering six assists during the 2018-19 campaign despite his squad rotation role (Transfermarkt).

This term, the 24-year-old has played just 10 minutes of league football under new boss Phillip Cocu, coming on as a substitute against Swansea City after remaining on the bench during the Huddersfield Town game, but did get 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup at Scunthorpe United.

Ramage, born and bred in Derby and a Rams academy graduate who was at the club between 1986 and 1994, says he would build the team around Marriott and believes the forward could, if everything went right, score 20 or more goals a season.

“If I was the manager, I’d put my arm round Marriott,” said Ramage. “He would be my main man. I’ll put my reputation on the line here – if Marriott is fit, sharp and playing regularly, and we get the right players in the right areas to create for him, he will score 20-plus goals. The creative players have to be clever, they have to be able to find Jack, they have to be able to put him in.

“I played the No.10 role at Watford, I played behind Kevin Phillips and behind David Connolly, and I took it as my responsibility to create a couple of chances a game for them, at least… Jack reminds me of Phillips. These players only need one chance, they thrive on a chance. They know if they get one, they usually hit the target.”

During the 1999-2000 season, Phillips – formerly a coach at Derby – won the European Golden Boot after scoring 30 goals for Sunderland, and he remains the only Englishman to ever win the accolade (Chronicle Live).

Up next for Derby is a Championship trip to Stoke City on Saturday, followed by two home games, against Bristol City and West Bromwich Albion, and then comes the highly anticipated East Midlands derby in the Carabao Cup against Nottingham Forest.

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