IT’S BOLD BUT NICK IS NEW DERBY OPTION
NICK Blackman has always had a hefty goal tally in him. But until this season, he’s never managed to show it.
Now, after a £2.5m move from Reading to Derby, it will be very interesting to see if he can keep up the form that’s netted 13 goals in 22 games.
How will he fit into the system? Paul Clement loves playing one up front and very rarely goes 4-4-2. If Chris Martin is fit, he’ll almost certainly be the first choice striker.
Is Paul just trying to add extra goals to his bench? Is he trying to give Martin a kick up the backside? Top scorer in each of the past two seasons, the 27-year-old has scored just once in the past 11 games.
Personally, I think Paul is just looking for a different dimension. If you look at Middlesbrough, with Stuani, Nugent and Kike, their frontline rotates regularly and offers lots of different options.
Derby are stuck in one system because both Darren Bent and Martin are big, strong players who drop off and like the ball to feet. That’s great when it works but it can also clog up midfield.
Blackman can run in behind, forcing the opposition back four to drop deep and opening space for the likes of Tom Ince and Bradley Johnson. He should make the Rams less predictable.
Whatever the case, not many sides in this division can afford to risk £2.5m on a guy with six months left on his contract. It’s a very bold move.
GOALS: Nick Blackman