Wayne Rooney has praised the impact of Derby County striker Colin Kazim-Richards both on and off the pitch in recent weeks.

The 34-year-old frontman, capped by Turkey at international level, joined the Rams as a free agent in October after leaving Mexican outfit C.F. Pachuca following the COVID-19 outbreak.

He linked up with the Rams with plenty of experience under his belt, having played his football in several countries across Europe as well as in South America.

After a handful of appearances off the bench in October and November, the striker has started all eight matches in which Rooney has led the coaching team while the club waits to appoint a new permanent manager.

Kazim-Richards has weighed in with three goals along the way, as well as offering a physical presence and focal point in attack, while he has also shown his leadership qualities by showcasing himself as a positive and vocal influence off the pitch.

“Colin has added character,” Rooney told RamsTV when asked what Kazim-Richards has brought to the side.

“He’s got a big character, he’s a leader in the dressing room for all the players and it is something that has been great for everyone.

“It is not just that way for the players, but the coaches as well. He has been really important for us.”

Since joining Derby on a one-year deal, Kazim-Richards has registered 14 appearances in all competitions, with two of his three goals coming in the recent victories over Swansea City and Birmingham City.