Derby County’s offer to sign James McClean has been rejected by the West Brom management. Gary Rowett is still in the market for a winger and pegged the Irishman to be his last-minute addition. But now that Albion has taken a firm stance on McClean’s immediate future, he might have to look elsewhere.
McClean has not enjoyed regular team football for the Baggies this season and was considered as a rotational option by the former manager, Tony Pulis. Ever since Alan Pardew’s appointment, the 28-year-old has seen more minutes on the pitch and has made 23 appearances this season.
McClean came into the limelight during his time with Sunderland. He went on to feature in 70 games for the Black Cats before making the switch to Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2013. Albion signed him before the 2015 season after the player rejected a move to New York Red Bulls.
McClean is what you would call a manager’s pet. He is a versatile presence and has appeared in multiple positions in his career. Primarily a winger, McClean does not possess the burst of pace to terrorize opposition defenders. His dominant left foot allows him to drill in balls into the penalty box from the wide areas which Soloman Rondon and Hal Robson-Kanu look to pounce upon.
Nacer Chadli is the first choice to appear in McClean’s position but now that the Belgian has been ruled out for over a month, McClean is expected to rotate with Jay Rodriguez for the remainder of the season.
Derby County is currently in the second spot of the Championship table and is favoured to win an automatic promotion along with leaders Wolves. The Wanderers have broken away with a 9-point gap and winning the trophy might no longer be in Gary Rowett’s plans. They, however, were held to a 0-0 draw to promotion rivals Bristol City last weekend and are in danger of falling into the playoff battle with Cardiff City just 2 points behind them.
Rowett’s first choice wingers in the present climate are Tom Lawrence and Johnny Russell. However, according to Sky Sports, Russell has not extended his contract with the Rams beyond this season and is set for a move away to the Major League Soccer. A confusing statement to digest for a County fan, especially with the promise of a future in the Premier League.
The manager still needs to prepare for such a circumstance and should to follow Wolves’ lead of preparing beforehand for top-flight English football. West Brom might not part ways with McClean ahead of a relegation battle, but that should not demotivate Rowett from pursuing another target in the remaining hours of the transfer window.
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