Why Derby County Should Sign Maikel Kieftenbeld From Birmingham City
Derby County summer transfer target Maikel Kieftenbeld has been conspicuous by his absence this season at Birmingham City, but was in the side which beat then league leaders Cardiff City on Friday night and is firmly back on the Rams’adar.
The Dutchman started for the Blues in their Championship clash with Neil Warnock’s Welsh outfit at St. Andrews having been picked by Steve Cotterill in what was his first match in charge of the club.
The midfielder’s first appearance since the collapse of his deadline day move to Derby was in the end a success, after Che Adams’ goal proved to be the only one of the contest, though he had made it clear he wanted to leave and is only not on Derby’s books right now because the EFL determined that the paperwork completed for his transfer was not done on time.
Kieftenbeld was not popular with Harry Redknapp and after nearly moving across the midlands to Pride Park was given the cold shoulder. However, Redknapp has of course since been sacked meaning he can at the very least continue to get game time.
Derby are definitely short in this area as Craig Bryson was reportedly only allowed to leave on deadline day because the club thought they had tied up the Kieftenbeld deal on time. Given this fact alone, they definitely should go back to try and rekindle this deal, though naturally things will be more complicated this time around.
Derby would like to watch Kieftenbeld and hope he carries on in good form, though in some sort of cruel self-fulfilling prophecy, the better he does, the more likely Steve Cotterill is to want to keep him at the Blues.
Rams boss and former Birmingham man Gary Rowett has publicly acknowledged that the ball will be in Birmingham’s court as the old deal is dead and he remains under contract at St Andrews, though a lot will depend on the wishes of the player.
Having even consented to talk about Kieftenbeld publicly though, it seems Rowett very definitely wants to re-visit this transfer and having been early favourites for automatic promotion, he may feel such a move is absolutely necessary since his team now find themselves at 13th, having just overhauled bitter rivals Nottingham Forest in the league.
Such a start is not what was anticipated by many this season and there’s a long way to go before we can again talk about them as promotion favourites, though with 4 points between them and 6th place all hope is not lost yet.