Our scout is a top football expert who attends matches each week searching for the next star. He’ll bring you his verdict in Sportsmail.
AGE: 21 CLUB: DERBY COUNTY POSITION: CENTRE BACK VALUE: £300,000
WHAT HAS HE GOT?
IN THE game I saw, he played right centre back in a three-man backline. A right-footed player, I like the way he stepped forward into space created by his right wing back towards the end of the game. His team were pushing for an equaliser and he showed sound passing skills and forceful running, which had not been necessary earlier when he had done a good job defending the right side without being stretched. He has a perfect frame for a central defender. When he needed to cover attacks down the other flank, he was always close to his defensive colleague and was aware enough to drag his right wing back into a decent covering position. Rarely tested in the air, it was difficult to gauge his heading strength as in this game most opposition crosses from deep came from their left side, so it was the opposite central defender of the three who was examined. I thought he communicated well — easy to hear in academy games — and showed a maturity for his age. In a strong team, he showed toughness when needed.
WHAT DOES HE NEED?
SO FAR he has only played academy football and during a brief loan at Hereford. Still only 21, he needs first-team experience soon. His father Darren heads the Derby academy and served his apprenticeship under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest. At Derby, he will have instilled good one-on-one defensive principles in his son. Wassall Jnr shows a calm head when defending, sensible passing and a nice balance between playing short, early and with accuracy and looking for a forward ball down the right channel, turning the opposition defence around. Several of his academy colleagues look right for the next step and I’ll be surprised if Frank Lampard does not give them that opportunity if Derby fail to win promotion this season.