Derby County have confirmed their first incoming of the January transfer window, with experienced forward Cameron Jerome joining the Rams from Norwich City on an 18-month contract.
Jerome arrives with a reputation as a proven goalscorer in the Sky Bet Championship, having reached double figures in each of his last two full seasons in the second tier.
dcfc.co.uk has taken a look back at the striker’s time in the game so far as he joins Gary Rowett’s side looking to earn the fourth promotion of his career…
Previous Clubs: Middlesbrough, Cardiff City, Birmingham City, Stoke City, Crystal Palace (loan), Norwich City
Jerome is quite an unusual case, as he switched clubs frequently during his early development, rather than remaining at a single academy.
Prior to turning 18, he had spells at Huddersfield Town, Grimsby Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough without making a first team appearance.
In the end, it was down to a man who knew a thing or two about scoring goals to help Jerome on his way to his big break.
Former Watford, Boro and England Under-21 striker Paul Wilkinson was Reserve Team Coach at Cardiff City, and he recommended Jerome to the Bluebirds, and his professional career was up and running.
Making A Name For Himself…
Jerome’s return of seven goals in all competitions was hugely respectable for a teenager completing his first season in game, but it was his second campaign in South Wales where he really started to prove his worth.
He started the 2005/06 season in deadly form, scoring in four league games in a row throughout August and September, as he capably filled the goalscoring void that was left by the departure of the club’s third-highest scorer of all-time, Robert Earnshaw.
Jerome bagged 20 goals in all competitions that year as Cardiff battled to earn their highest finish in the second tier since 1979 as they ended in 11th, and it’s fair to say that he caught the attention of several clubs in the process, but he chose the West Midlands for his next move.
Double Promotion At St Andrew’s
Recently relegated Birmingham City paid a reported fee of £3 million for Jerome in the summer of 2006, but he didn’t get off to the best of starts in the second city.
He was sent off on his debut and he struggled throughout his first season, scoring just nine goals in 44 games in all competitions, but those goals did contribute to an immediate return to the Premier League for Steve Bruce’s side.
To his credit, seven goals in the top flight equalled the tally of his previous campaign in league below, but it wasn’t enough to save the Blues from a second relegation in three years.
Alex McLeish had taken the reigns midway through the relegation season and he continued in his role back in the Championship, often pairing Jerome with new signing and current Derby first team coach Kevin Phillips.
Phillips led Birmingham’s goalscoring chart but he was supported by a crucial contribution of 10 goals in all competitions from Jerome, as the Blues once against secured a return to the Premier League, and this time they managed to make it stick.
The Blues entered a key period in their history as they secured a ninth-place finish in the 2009/10 season – their best in the Premier League era – with Jerome top scoring with 11 goals, including a wonder-strike at Anfield.
He also won the only major trophy of his career in 2011 as Birmingham unexpectedly overcame Arsenal at Wembley Stadium in the League Cup final.
McLeish’s side dropped down once again at the end of that season, but Tony Pulis was willing to give Jerome another crack at the Premier League.
To The Potteries…
Stoke City sealed the signing of Jerome on transfer deadline day in August 2011 for a reported fee of £4 million, and he marked his debut with his first goal in continental football in a 1-1 draw against Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League.
Starts proved hard to come by under Pulis and Jerome was often deployed in a wide role, but he showcased his true quality during the 2012/13 season with an outstanding goal against Southampton.
He was deemed surplus to requirements when Mark Hughes took over in the summer of 2013, paving the way for Jerome to join Crystal Palace on loan, where he was eventually reunited with Pulis when the Welshman replaced Ian Holloway in November.
Back On The Goal Trail…
At the end of his temporary spell at Selhurst Park, Jerome made the switch to Norwich City, where he immediately showcased his knowhow in the Championship with 18 league goals to propel the Canaries into the play-offs.
Jerome scored in the semi-final second leg as well as the final to earn another go at the top flight, but Norwich only spent a single season back in the Premier League.
The striker top scored once again for Norwich last season with 16 goals in all competitions, but his lack of games so far this campaign paved the way for a move to the promotion-chasing Rams.