Derby County news: Rams linked with summer swoop for 21-year-old defender

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After meandering their way to a 10th place finish in the Championship last year, Derby County would have been hoping to launch a push for promotion this season.

However, a horrendous start to the 2020/21 campaign eventually resulted in the Rams opting to part ways with Phillip Cocu.

Having decided to hand over the reins to Wayne Rooney on a permanent basis in January, Derby's progress in the second-tier has been slow due to a lack of consistency.

Currently 18th in the Championship standings, the Rams will need to step up their performance levels in the coming weeks in order to avoid being dragged into a relegation dogfight by Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday.

Although Rooney will be primarily focused on guiding his side to safety between now and the end of the season, he may already be looking at ways of improving his squad this summer if recent reports are anything to go by.

According to TEAMtalk, Derby are keeping tabs on Swindon Town defender Akin Odimayo ahead of a potential swoop in the upcoming transfer window.

The 21-year-old, who is also attracting interest from Stoke City, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End, has made 30 appearances for the Robins in League One this season.

Yet despite the fact that Odimayo has been an ever-present in Swindon's starting eleven in recent weeks, the club have yet to exercise the option to extend his stay at the County Ground.

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Whilst Derby will need to make drastic changes to their squad this summer in order to transform their fortunes next season, signing Odimayo would be somewhat of a risk.

Currently averaging an underwhelming WhoScored match rating of 6.49, the defender has struggled to deliver the goods on a consistent basis in League One and thus may not be ready to make the step up to the Championship.

Furthermore, when you consider that Swindon have conceded the joint-highest amount of goals (69) in the third-tier this season, Odimayo's presence at the back has made little to no difference on their fortunes as the club are currently facing a real battle to avoid relegation to League Two.

For Derby's sake, they may find it more beneficial to sign a defender who knows exactly what it takes to compete at this level instead of taking a punt on a player who has yet to make his bow in the Championship.

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