Derby County manager Paul Warne has admitted he is keen to add “two or three” more signings to his squad ahead of the team’s opening match against Wigan Athletic in less than two weeks.
The Rams suffered a big blow when last season’s top goalscorer David McGoldrick stepped down to League Two to join newly-promoted Notts County, the club where it all began for the former Republic of Ireland international two decades ago.
The veteran scored 25 goals in League One last season for Derby and was voted as both the Fans’ Player of the Season and the Players’ Player of the Season, leaving Warne’s attack rather toothless with his departure.
So far, Derby have made seven signings in preparation for the 2023/24 campaign with just one being a centre-forward as Conor Washington arrived this summer after a one-year stint with Rotherham United and is now working with Warne once more.
Washington has plenty of experience in League One due to his past spells with Charlton Athletic and Peterborough United but his five Championship goals last season may not be enough to replace McGoldrick.
What has Warne said?
Warne admitted in a recent interview with BBC Radio Derby that he would ideally like up to three more additions to the first-team squad, including another striker:
“I would like a [number] ‘9’ and a number ’10’ really, but I’m not trying to be greedy.
“I think we’ve got it potentially in our budget to bring in at least another one or two, or spread it more thin and go three, but I think I’d be happy with two good ones.”
Going into further detail, the 50-year-old revealed that he wants to sign another wingback due to being rather shallow in that department:
“We obviously need another attacker, I personally would like another wing-back.
“I think Thommo [Liam Thompson] has done brilliantly at left wing-back, but Kane [Wilson] is a long way off fitness so we need to get him fit and we need to get Callum [Elder] back.”
Conor Washington is a solid addition to Championship-hopefuls but his goalscoring record in recent times leaves a lot to be desired.
Despite playing in a tougher league last season, the Northern Irishman’s six goals in 37 appearances in all competitions, including 20 starts, isn’t enough to fill even a quarter of McGoldrick’s void.
A more potent number ‘9’ is a must, although Warne did admit that it may have to be on loan or a free transfer due to the budgetary restrictions of the club.
Meanwhile, Warne’s system relies heavily on wingbacks. Without specialists in these two positions, the Rams’ style may suffer so it’s no surprise to hear that the head coach wants to bolster this department too.