Derby County’s tumultuous Championship campaign faltered once again last weekend as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat in their clash with Swansea City.
Currently 21st in the second-tier standings, the Rams know that they must avoid defeat in their showdown with Sheffield Wednesday this weekend if they are to have any chance of achieving survival.
Regardless of what division Derby end up in next season, they may find it difficult to keep hold of one of their most promising players this summer if recent reports are anything to go by.
According to the Daily Mail, Rams defender Lee Buchanan is understood to be attracting interest from Arsenal who could make a potential swoop during the upcoming transfer window.
A product of Derby’s academy, the 20-year-old was handed his senior debut by former manager Phillip Cocu during the previous campaign.
Since this particular breakthrough, Buchanan has emerged as a key player for the Rams as he has featured on 36 occasions this season in all competitions.
Following a string of impressive displays for the club earlier this season, the full-back was tipped by Derby boss Wayne Rooney to earn an England cap in the not-too distant future.
Speaking to the Derby Telegraph in February about the Rams ace, the 35-year-old said: “Lee Buchanan has got a really bright future and I am sure he will play for England within the next couple of years.
“He is getting better every game.
“The small sides of the game he needs to improve, he is improving massively.”
GIVEMESPORT’s Joshua Cole says…
When you consider that Buchanan clearly possesses a great deal of talent, it would be a blow for Derby if Arsenal decide to sign him this summer.
Having waved goodbye to full-backs Max Lowe and Jayden Bogle last year who both joined Sheffield United, the Rams will not will want to see another academy graduate depart.
Although Buchanan has struggled at times for consistency in the Championship this season, he has still managed to average a relatively impressive WhoScored match rating of 6.64 which is the eighth highest total recorded by a Rams player.
Whereas a move to Arsenal would be tempting for the full-back, he may be forced to watch on from the sidelines for the foreseeable future at the Emirates Stadium due to the presence of Kieran Tierney.
Therefore, in order to continue to make considerable strides in terms of his development, it could be argued that Buchanan ought to stay at Derby as the club will be able to offer him the opportunity to play regular first-team football which is what he needs at this stage of his career.