Frank Lampard has finally secured his first signings of his Derby County reign, with the double deal of Mason Mount and Harry Wilson from Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.
Mount and Wilson join the Rams on season-long loans, having impressed last season whilst out loan at Vitesse Arnhem and Hull City.
So why are Derby fans so impressed with the signing of two players who are yet to play a first-team game for their parent clubs?
The reason is simple, Derby have lacked attacking talent in the midfield since the departure of Will Hughes to Watford last summer and Craig Bryson’s loan departure to Cardiff.
Mount, 19, a product of Chelsea’s youth academy, spent last season on loan in Holland with Vitesse Arnhem, building a growing reputation helping them to a sixth place finish in the Eredivisie.
The attacking midfielder excited fans with his dynamic displays from central midfield, making a huge contribution to the team by scoring 14 goals in 32 appearances, and laying-on nine assists for his teammates.
This was something clearly missing at Derby last season, with the lack of creativity from central midfield and wide midfield a real problem. Now with Wilson, an out-and-out winger, Mount a creative midfielder and the re-arrival of Bryson (should he stay), the Rams already look better offensively, at least off the field.
Now, I know that the tactics of Gary Rowett didn’t help the situation, but speak to any Derby fans and you will know we lacked a cutting edge in the final third of the field.
Lampard spoke to Derby’s website about the young pair and said: “I’m delighted to get both of these deals done and add players of their quality and calibre to the squad.
“I know Mason really well from my Chelsea links and I have also watched him play in their very successful youth teams.
“I know him first hand from Chelsea, and Jody worked closely with him in the Chelsea youth team. I watched him closely at Vitesse, where he had a fantastic season.
Wilson joins the Rams on loan from Liverpool, fresh from signing a new five-year deal with the Reds.
The 21-year-old became Wales' youngest ever international aged just 16 years and 208 days old when making his debut against Belgium in October 2013. A loan spell at Crewe followed in 2015, whilst working his way through Liverpool’s impressive youth setup.
The arrival of Wilson in my opinion, should be one that is more exciting than Mount’s, despite him not having the same reputation. Derby have lacked a ‘proper’ winger since Tom Ince departed, a void that Andreas Weimann, Ikechi Anya and Johnny Russell before his departure in January struggled to fill.
The inconsistency of team selection on the flanks, coupled with Rowett’s decision to play square pegs in round holes, hindered the fluidity of the team going forward, and this showed on numerous occasions.
The delivery of quality balls from wide areas was missing for the most part last season, and when you have attackers like Cameron Jerome and David Nugent to aim for, it's something that must be utilised better this season.
Wilson flourished in Hull’s relegation battle, scoring seven goals in 14 league and cup appearances for the Tigers, in what was a very poor side. Imagine the damage he could do this season in a Derby County shirt, if given the chance and guidance at Pride Park.
Speaking about Wilson's arrival to Derby’s website Lampard said: “Everyone saw what he did last season in the Championship at Hull. Harry brings incredible quality and hunger to the table here and he showed that last year while he was on loan at Hull.
“He’s a full international too and he has a real desire to come here and improve. They are two players I’ve chased because of the quality they have.
Rams fans have waited a long time for Frank Lampard to make his first moves in the transfer market, and they are very impressed by the double-capture of Wilson and Mount. It is clear that Lampard has used his connections within the game to make the signings possible, something that a lot of Derby fans felt was important.
Derby have used the loan market so effectively in the past - who remembers that season of 2013-14, with the arrivals of George Thorne, Andre Wisdom and Patrick Bamford on loan?
And who can forget the following season’s arrivals of Darren Bent and Jesse Lingard who all made such a positive impact on loan at Pride Park. Big signings doesn’t necessarily mean big money, and I for one am glad that Mel Morris and Frank Lampard are utilising the loan market so well.