Derby County have today added to their striking options with the signing of experienced frontman David Nugent.Nugent, 31, has joined Derby on a two-and-a-half year deal from Premier League side Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee.
After putting pen-to-paper with the Rams following a successful medical, Nugent is in line to make his debut in Derby’s Sky Bet Championship fixture at Leeds United on Friday evening.
He is the Rams’ second signing of the January transfer window after the loan signing of midfielder Julien de Sart, also from Middlesbrough, for the rest of the season last week.
The Huyton-born frontman has scored over 150 goals in 427 starts in club football since beginning his professional career back in 2002.
The vast majority of his goals have been scored in the top two levels of English football and he has achieved promotion from the Championship twice in his career - at Leicester City and Middlesbrough - as well as winning the FA Cup with Portsmouth.
Manager Steve McClaren said: “We’re delighted to complete the signing of David Nugent.
“He is a proven goalscorer at Championship level and he also has a great deal of experience as well to bring to the table.
“David has a track record of scoring important goals as well and we’re pleased to add him to the attacking talent that we already have.”
Nugent’s playing career began at Bury in the early 2000s and, after making his professional debut in 2002 at the age of 16, he scored his first-ever career goal in a 2-2 draw at home to Darlington in October that year.
He featured regularly over the next few years before a prolific first half of the 2004/05 season for the Shakers in League Two saw him earn a move to Preston North End in the Championship.
Nugent maintained his goalscoring form after moving up the division’s and he helped fire Preston to the 2005 Play-Off Final against West Ham United, scoring in North End’s Semi-Final success against Derby.
He remained a regular goalscorer in the following two seasons before he sealed a move to then Premier League Portsmouth in the summer of 2007 for a reported fee of £6 million, where he went on to win the FA Cup in his first season on the South Coast.
Nugent spent a season on loan at Burnley in the Premier League during 2009/10, before scoring 14 times during the following season during Portsmouth’s return to the Championship.
His next move came in the summer of 2011 as the striker joined Championship side Leicester City as a free agent and he went on to score 59 times over a four-year spell with the Foxes.
He scored 16 times in the 2011/12 and 2012/13 campaigns, before bagging 22 as Leicester won the Championship title in 2013/14. He also notched five in City’s first season back in the top flight as they avoided relegation.
Nugent was on the move in the summer of 2015, returning to the Championship with Middlesbrough in a £4 million deal. He scored eight times, including a crucial winner against promotion rivals Hull City as the latter weeks of the season closed in, as Boro secured automatic promotion on the final day of the season.
This term, however, first-team opportunities have been limited for Nugent as Boro aim to retain their top flight status.
Nugent earned 14 England Under 21 caps as a youngster and also holds the statistic of one cap and one goal to his name at full international level, after scoring for England – then managed by Steve McClaren - in a 3-0 win against Andorra in a 2008 European Championships Qualifier.
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