Kieran Dowell looks to head out on loan to the Championship once again, as the attacking midfielder is still not ready to contribute at a Premier League level. This time, the destination appears to be Derby County, if the Derby Telegraph is to be believed. Derby finds themselves with a new manager Philip Cocu, who worked for Marcel Brands at PSV and has now replaced the departed Frank Lampard. His past connection with Brands makes this move much more likely.
After a strong year at Nottingham Forest in 2017-2018, Dowell had a very disappointing campaign last season for Sheffield United. He only started eight matches and he played fewer than 700 minutes. He is still only 21 years of age but he is reaching a point in his career where he will be finding his level, and he cannot afford a repeat of last season’s disappointment. Forest fans will be disappointed to see him on the other side of the East Midlands derby, and for Derby three playoff disappointments in four years are really beginning to cry out for long awaited promotion.
If they get the Nottingham Forest version of Dowell, they will be getting a player who averaged 2 key passes/90 and a very effective long range shooter (with four goals from outside the box in 2017-2018). He was also an effective dribbler, completing over two thirds of his attempts.
As he has grown up at Everton, we all hope Dowell succeeds at this next move. It would be great for him to mature as a player and become someone who could contribute for the Toffees at the Premier League level. I for one am hesitant to expect too much though. His best season to date was for a side that finished 17th in the Championship, and they clearly did not miss his absence too badly last year as they showed dramatic improvement. If Dowell is more than a mid-lower table second tier player, now is the time to show it.
This move will probably be confirmed in the very near future, and if it is I want to formally wish him the best of luck. I would love nothing more than to see Derby reach promotion on the back of a stellar season from one of our own.