Derby eyeing reunion deal for “colossal” 6ft 3 gem, imagine him and Hourihane

Derby County will hope results in League One swing in their favour today, with a win away at Sincil Bank versus Lincoln City potentially enough for the Rams to launch into the automatic promotion places.

Although, with the various twists and turns Derby have experienced this season in the third tier, it might well not be that straightforward in reality for Paul Warne’s men to enter the top two.

Needing a last-minute winner to overcome Burton Albion on Monday night, Warne will want to add new faces to his Derby group to add strength here and there and give the Rams an edge over their fellow promotion rivals.

Bringing this rumoured target in would be a signing of intent from Warne, the Rams manager reuniting with the player in question who enjoyed a successful patch of his career under the 50-year-old’s guidance previously.

Transfer reunion at Derby

Football journalist Darren Witcoop stated on social media late last week that a deal for the Rams to sign current Sheffield Wednesday attacker Michael Smith will ‘get done’ at some stage this month, with the Owls recruiting Ike Ugbo to bolster their striker numbers with a view to allowing Smith to leave.

This has been further backed up by football journalist Alan Nixon, via Patreon, who revealed that Smith is a priority on Warne’s shopping list at Pride Park but high wages could well be a stumbling block.

Playing out of his skin at League One level in the past under Warne at Rotherham United, this could be a match made in heaven if Smith reunites with his former boss and fires in even more goals to help Derby win promotion.

With assist king Conor Hourihane also excelling in the starting lineup recently for the promotion hopefuls – the 32-year-old onto seven assists for the season now – Smith could score goals by the bucket load and become a hero again for a new third-tier side.

Why Hourihane would benefit Smith

Derby arguably won themselves a coup by landing Hourihane before a ball was kicked at the start of last season, signing the Irishman on a free transfer deal who would go on to win a place in the League One Team of the Season for the Rams.

That was achieved as a result of the former Aston Villa midfielder helping himself to ten assists in total over his debut campaign, alongside scoring seven goals of his own.

Smith will be itching for a return to South Yorkshire to play alongside the creative powers of Hourihane as a result, almost certain that the goals will begin to flow again at third-tier level if the EFL veteran is teeing him up for countless opportunities.

Under Warne’s watchful eye no less during the 2021/22 campaign in League One, the 6 foot 3 centre forward fired in 18 goals along the way to Rotherham achieving promotion.

Smith’s goal record in League One (Wednesday + Rotherham)





















Stats by Transfermarkt

Described as being a “colossal” presence for the Millers by Warne back in 2019 – with Warne further stating that Smith “won everything” in a League One encounter versus Ipswich Town – bringing in the seasoned 32-year-old could be a masterstroke by the Rams boss.

Winning three promotions up to the Championship across his esteemed career to date, with his last two full campaigns in the third tier boasting a promotion at the end, Smith could well be the final coveted piece of the jigsaw for Derby to push on and finish in the top two.


With Hourihane in the team alongside him on his arrival, Smith could blow his previous numbers out of the water in a terrifying strike partnership with an equally potent and experienced attacker by his side too in James Collins.

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