Derby County have recently been credited with interest in signing free-agent Richard Stearman, according to journalist Alan Nixon.
What’s the story?
Stearman spent the 2020/21 season with Huddersfield Town, and it appears as though he’s a wanted man heading into the new league campaign.
The defender’s contract with the Yorkshire-based side reached a conclusion at the end of June, and Carlos Corberan’s side opted to not extend that deal into next season.
This has resulted in Derby County being one of the teams to push ahead with their negotiations to strike an agreement to sign Stearman this summer, although it remains to be seen as to what stage they’re at in their efforts to land his signature.
Nixon has also reported that the Rams are targeting a deal for former Sheffield United defender Phil Jagielka, as well as Stearman this summer.
Better options out there for the Rams
Stearman has a considerable amount of experience under his belt in the EFL, with his most recent spell before his time with Huddersfield Town being with Sheffield United.
The experienced centre-back made 17 appearances for the Blades in the 2018/19 campaign, where they won promotion into the Premier League whilst under the management of Chris Wilder.
But Stearman found game time hard to come by with Sheffield United towards the end of his time at Bramall Lane, which resulted in him making the move to the John Smith’s Stadium in January 2020.
His spell with the Terriers wasn’t the most memorable though, with Stearman making 38 appearances for Carlos Corberan’s team, as they finished 20th in the Championship table.
However, Huddersfield can count themselves lucky that other teams struggled for a positive run of results towards the end of that campaign.
They conceded 71 goals in total during the 2020/21 league season, which is the worst defensive record out of all of the teams in the second tier, which doesn’t make for the best of reading.
Would Stearman be a good signing for Derby County?
Derby only retained their status as a Championship team on the final day of the 2020/21 season, as they drew 3-3 with Sheffield Wednesday.
Reinforcements are certainly needed in defence this summer, especially an experienced head to help aid the development of some of the younger members of Wayne Rooney’s squad. Andre Wisdom was one of those to depart the club permanently in the summer, whilst George Edmundson, Matt Clarke and Teden Mengi returned to their parent clubs after their loan spells at Pride Park.
But the Rams could do far better than signing Stearman, and it’s pleasing to see the club reportedly edging closer to reaching an agreement to signing Manchester United youngster Teden Mengi on loan for the upcoming season, as he’s already shown glimpses of his potential in a brief loan spell with Derby last term.
At the age of 33, some might question whether Stearman is a good enough option to have in the Championship, especially after a forgetful recent season with Huddersfield Town, where he won an average of 3.4 aerial duels, and just one tackle per game, whilst on reported wages of £15,000 per-week (according to Salary Sport).
A move for Stearman would be a real disaster for Derby given his wages, age and the fact he isn’t a real improvement on what they’ve already go.