Wayne Rooney’s Derby County left-back Lee Buchanan is attracting interest from the Premier League ahead of the summer transfer window.
What’s the talk?
That’s according to a report by the Daily Mail, who claim that Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are considering a move for the £1.8 million-rated defender ahead of the upcoming transfer market.
While no figure is quoted in the report regarding how much Derby would be demanding for the 20-year-old, the fact his current deal at Pride Park expires next summer may force the Championship strugglers into a sale.
Should Derby sell Buchanan this summer?
Derby must not repeat Bogle mistake
Despite having made five appearances in the Championship last season, 2020/21 has undoubtedly been Buchanan’s breakthrough campaign at Pride Park.
So far this term, the 20-year-old has made 34 appearances in the second tier, over which he has provided three assists and has made an average of one interception, 1.6 tackles and 0.4 key passes per game, culminating in a respectable average SofaScore match rating of 6.68.
And, considering how well the England U21 international has fared at Championship level so soon after breaking into the Derby first-team, it would appear as if the defender will continue to improve as he gains more experience in the league.
Indeed, Rooney has stated his belief that Buchanan is already a “top player” and that he would “argue he’s one of the best young left-backs in the country.”
As such, Derby must do all they can to avoid a repeat of the £3.47 million sale of Jayden Bogle to Sheffield United last summer, when the Rams sold one of their brightest stars for just over half of his market valuation of £5.67 million – with the right-back now being worth £6.3 million.
So, come the end of the season, whatever league Derby happen to be playing their football in as of next year, Rooney should make the signing of Buchanan to a new deal his absolute priority, in order to retain one of the club’s most promising young players for as long as possible, as well as increasing his value in the event the club wish to cash in on the defender at some point in the future.
In other news: Lost possession 14x: Derby dud who completed just 7 passes massively let Rooney down – opinion