Derby County are interested in a deal to bring Matt Crooks to Pride Park this summer.
That’s according to a report by the East Anglian Daily Times, who claim that Wayne Rooney’s side are set to rival Ipswich Town in a bid to sign the Rotherham United midfielder in the summer transfer window.
It is reported that the recently relegated Millers would demand a six-figure fee in order to part with the 27-year-old, who has one year remaining on his contract at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Considering just how badly Derby struggled in the Championship last season, with Rooney’s side barely avoiding the drop and scoring a league-low of 36 goals, it is clear that the 35-year-old must bring in additions to his squad this summer if the Rams are to have any hope of mounting a push towards the top half of the table next season.
And, despite playing for a Rotherham side who ultimately did suffer relegation at the expense of Derby, Crooks would certainly appear to be an excellent option for Rooney to have at his disposal next term.
Indeed, over his 40 Championship appearances for Paul Warne’s side last season, the £630k-rated midfielder scored six goals, provided three assists and created two big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 1.3 tackles, 0.8 key passes and taking 1.4 shots per game.
These returns saw the 6 foot 4 27-year-old earn a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 6.67, however, considering his contributions and individual importance to his side, this rating feels slightly slow.
Indeed, when comparing Crooks’ returns to that of Derby’s highest-scoring central midfielder Graeme Shinnie – who bagged three goals, registered one assist and created three big chances over his 41 league appearances for the Rams last term, seeing him average a SofaScore match rating of 6.98 – the Rotherham man appears to easily best the 29-year-old Scot.
As such, it would seem highly advisable for Rooney to do all he can to beat Ipswich Town to the signature of the player whom Warne dubbed a “driving force” for his side this summer. the £1.9k-per-week man could bring some much-needed goals from the middle of the park to the Rams side next season.