Derby County have today strengthened their attacking options with the signing of Czech Republic international striker Matěj Vydra.
Vydra, 24, joins Derby from Premier League side Watford for an undisclosed fee on a four-year deal until the summer of 2020.
The frontman becomes Derby’s second summer signing following the arrival of Manchester United’s James Wilson on a season-long loan deal last weekend.
Vydra is a proven goalscorer at Championship level and was part of the Watford side that gained promotion to the Premier League in 2015.
Manager Nigel Pearson said: “We’re really pleased to signMatěj Vydra – we hope that he will bring goals and energy to the team.
“His ability to exploit space with his pace is good and something that we need, while his goals record is pretty healthy as well.
“I hope that another fresh face will provide a lift to the dressing room. Without wanting to pile any pressure on him, coming into a new challenge here at Derby County, we hope that he can be the catalyst for us to start bringing some more positive results, which are obviously something that we need.
“We’ve brought James Wilson in as well from Manchester United recently and we hope that the two of them will give us different options up front and help us, as a team, to win more games.”
Vydra began his playing career in his homeland with first Vysočina Jihlava and then Baník Ostrava before linking up with Italian side Udinese in 2010.
The majority of his time at Udinese was spent out on loan, first at Belgian side Club Brugge in 2011/12 before he moved to England in the summer of 2012.
He scored 22 times in all competitions during a season-long loan Watford, then in the Championship, in 2012/13 as they reached the Play-Off Final, losing to Crystal Palace, and was named as the Championship’s Player of the Season.
Vydra was on the move again in 2013/14, spending the entire campaign on loan at West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. He was mainly used as a substitute, starting seven games and coming off the bench on 16 occasions, and found the back of the net three times.
He returned to Watford in another season-long loan deal during the summer of 2014 and hit the back of the net 16 times as the Hornets secured automatic promotion to the Premier League. He scored a number of crucial goals over the course of the campaign, including an injury-time strike against Brighton & Hove Albion to secure promotion.
Vydra secured a permanent move to Watford last summer after scoring 38 goals in 85 Championship appearances - including play-offs - for the Hornets, but made just one League Cup appearance before spending the entire campaign back in English football’s second tier at Reading. He scored nine times in 36 outings before returning to Vicarage Road.
Vydra came off the bench in Watford’s Premier League defeat to Chelsea last weekend as well as featuring in their EFL Cup Round Two tie against Gillingham in midweek.
On the international scene, Vyrda has scored five times in 17 appearances for his country after playing at various youth levels before making the step up to the full side.
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