Steve McClaren says new signing David Nugent will fit perfectly into Derby County’s style of play – as well as bringing his ‘big game’ experience to the table.The 31-year-old yesterday put pen-to-paper on a two-and-a-half year deal after Derby agreed to pay Middlesbrough an undisclosed fee for his services.
McClaren, 55, says he has been a long time admitted of Nugent’s qualities – he gave him his only England cap almost ten years ago - and believes Derby have added further quality to their attacking options.
Nugent, who has scored over 150 goals in club football and also been promoted to the Premier League twice, will train with his new team mates for the first time today.
However, McClaren says there’s more about his game than putting the ball into the back of the net.
He hopes that his experience of previous promotions will be vital with Derby in the race for a top six spot in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Derby manager told RamsTV: “David is a player that I have long admired. He has great experience, scores goals, gets assists and is a team player.
“The key thing is that he has been up with Leicester City and Middlesbrough in the past and he knows what it takes.
“He’s a big game player and that’s what we need with one or two fit strikers at the present moment. We were a bit short in that area so we needed quality and we’ve certainly got that with David.”
He added: “His record at this level is excellent.
“We’re always looking for that gem, a real diamond, and we will continue to do that - but at this moment we needed experience and someone that could come in and do the job.”
McClaren says Nugent’s stature will have a positive effect in the Derby dressing room.
He also feels that the frontman has ‘a bit of everything’ in terms of the options he offers in attack.
However, due to his lack of games time at Middlesbrough this term, McClaren says Nugent will need time to get up to match speed.
“Any centre-back that has played against him will tell you that he is a constant thorn in the side and that’s what we want,” he said.
“He’s got a real stature to bring to the dressing room. It’s very difficult to find players out there who the dressing room will look at and think ‘great’ in terms of the quality – and we have certainly found one.
“He fits the system and style we want to play. We’ve watched him and he can do a bit of everything. He can run beyond, he has the pace to do that, but he can also drop in and link up the play too which is vital for us.
“He is a Derby type of player. He hasn’t played for a while so once he gets up to speed fitness wise he will be very good for us.”