After just 36 goals this season – the fewest in the championship – one of Wayne Rooney’s top priorities this summer will be improving Derby County’s attacking options.
Of course, the transfer plans will be suspended as the club’s takeover saga drags on.
But there will be newcomers sometime before the start of next season, and when money is tight the credit market will be a major source of talent and hopefully targets.
We’re looking at five young attackers who could be used on championship loans next season.
Ellis Simms (Everton)
After joining Blackpool on loan in January, Simms travels to Wembley to look forward to a miracle.
Simms scored twice when Blackpool won 3-0 in the semi-finals of the League One playoffs at Oxford United earlier this season.
The 20-year-old scored eight goals in the regular season before taking on Oxford.
He has also impressed with his all-round play, showing his best form at just the right time when the Seafarers are chasing a place in the championship.
Having proven himself in the first division, the second tier is the next logical step for the striker.
On the subject of matching items
On the subject of matching items
Morgan Rogers (Manchester City)
The dynamic attacker has impressed since he was loaned out on loan from League One in Lincoln City in January.
With pace, strength, trickery and great vision, Rogers scored some absolute intrigue when the Imps secured a spot in the play-offs.
He could face Simms in the final after Lincoln beat Sunderland 2-0 in the first leg.
The 18-year-old is able to play on both flanks and in a central role. He’s proven himself in the third division, which means the championship is the next logical step.
There should be great interest in the youngster before the next season.
(Image: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images)
A player who needs little introduction to the Rams.
Delap – the son of former Derby player Rory – left Pride Park for Manchester City in 2019 and made his senior debut for the Premier League champions earlier this season.
Amid ridiculous competition for spots at Etihad, Delap is expected to be loaned out to the championship, with the Rams and Stoke City – another of his father’s former teams – among the clubs.
Former Rams boss Paul Jewell says Man City should send Delap to Derby and say, “I remember talking to David Moyes about him when he came through.
“He said he could play on the right, he could play central defense, he would lead half the field, there is nothing he can’t do.”
(Image: Matt McNulty – Manchester City / Manchester City FC via Getty Images)
Joe Hugill (Manchester United)
The 17-year-old 6ft2 striker has been compared to none other than Harry Kane. Then no pressure!
Hugill, who signed £ 300,000 from Sunderland last year, was very productive for the under 18s at Old Trafford and quickly moved up to the under 23s.
In the air and with the ball at his feet, the teenager was already recognized by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his praise.
After scoring four goals in Man United’s 6-3 win over Liverpool U23s, Solskjaer said: “Four goals from Hugill, he’s a top striker, we’re looking forward to his development.”
Despite his age, his rapid progression means there could be a loan spell coming up in the EFL next season.
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Anthony Elanga (Manchester United)
The 19-year-old winger was one of the youngsters recently dropped because of Man United’s first meeting against Leicester City.
He holds a high status at Old Trafford and recently signed a new long-term contract with the club.
But next season will likely come too early for a first-team run, which means a loan spell could be on the agenda for the left foot, who can operate on both flanks and in the center.
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Jack Clarke (Tottenham)
It hasn’t really worked out for Clarke since joining Tottenham from Leeds United back then from the championship.
Clarke spent the second half of last season at Stoke City on loan until injury resulted in an early return to north London.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Spurs’ management position, it is unlikely that he will get a chance in the Premier League next season.
But it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s back in the championship and Nottingham Forest is reportedly keen on the 20-year-old.