06:00 Tuesday 03 December 2013

Derby County boss Steve McClaren keen to sign Simon Dawkins permanently from Premier League Tottenham Hotspur

Written bySTEVE NICHOLSON

Derby County head coach Steve McClaren Derby County head coach Steve McClaren

STEVE McClaren wants to sign Simon Dawkins on a permanent deal in January.

Dawkins has impressed Derby County’s head coach during his loan spell from Tottenham Hotspur.

He joined the Rams in October and the 26-year-old forward has started the last five matches.

His loan spell expires next month.

Asked if he would like to keep Dawkins longer, McClaren said: “Yes, absolutely. There’s no doubt about that. When he came here we wanted to take him permanently.”

Dawkins is a product of Tottenham’s academy but has not played a competitive game for the club.

He has had loan spells at Leyton Orient, San Jose Earthquakes and Aston Villa, and was released by Spurs only to be re-signed in March 2011. He also had trials at French club RC Strasbourg, Celtic, Bournemouth and Dutch side FC Twente.

McClaren is surprised Dawkins has never established himself at a club.

“I have known him for a couple of years,” said McClaren. “I took him to Twente, for two weeks, and I have always kept my eye on him.

“When Johnny Russell was injured in October I thought it was a great opportunity to bring in Simon, and he has impressed.

“I think he has always been a good player but to make a difference you have to have an end product, you have to score or assist.”

Dawkins did both in Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Wigan Athletic.

He won the free kick from which Craig Bryson gave Derby a third-minute lead and he scored the second goal.

“Simon is proving a big asset for us,” said McClaren. “He has got stronger and fitter with each game.”

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