Free-agent Sam Baldock is currently in training with Wayne Rooney’s Derby County side.
As seen in a recent video posted by the Derby County Twitter account, the former Reading centre-forward, who was released by Veljko Paunovic at the end of last season, is seen taking part in training with the Rams players at Moor Farm.
This would seem to suggest that the 32-year-old may be given the opportunity to sign for Rooney’s side this summer, should he impress the former Manchester United man in pre-season.
While Derby County are undeniably in a tricky situation regarding this summer’s transfer business as a result of their dire financial situation, it would nevertheless be a difficult argument to make that Baldock would be a good signing for the Rams ahead of next season, even on a free transfer.
Indeed, having joined Reading from Brighton & Hove Albion back in the summer of 2018, the £540k-rated forward went on to score just 11 goals and provide five assists in all competitions for Royals, not quite living up to the £3.51m fee the club paid the Premier League team for his services three years ago.
Last season, the £18k-per-week striker once again failed to impress over his 20 Championship appearances for Paunovic’s side, scoring no goals, registering two assists and creating one big chance for his teammates, as well as mustering an average of just 0.1 shots on target and 0.5 key passes per game.
These returns saw the man Paul Clement once dubbed a “selfless” player earn a disappointing seasonal SofaScore match rating of 6.58, ranking him as Reading’s sixth-worst performer in the second tier of English football.
As such, with Derby desperately in need of a proven Championship goalscorer this summer, with the Rams scoring a league-low 36 goals last time out, the addition of a player who failed to hit the back of the net over 20 games last season, as well as contributing very little in the way of assists and chance creation, would not appear to be the answer to the club’s goalscoring woes.
So, it would very much seem as if, if Rooney does go on to offer the 32-year-old a contract at Pride Park this summer, it would be something of a mistake by the 35-year-old, who can surely find a much better option than Baldock in the summer transfer window.