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McClaren Chasing Swedish Superstar To Become Rams ‘Ronaldinho’?
Tuesday, 5th Nov 2013 07:54 by Daniel J Sewart

Billy Davies didn’t do much of it; neither did Paul Jewell and Nigel Clough, pretty much never. It has been a long time since DCFC scoured foreign leagues to bring in either established or untapped talent.

All over the world, leagues import players to try and get that special something, especially when it comes to midfield and attacking flair, which seems to be bred into the DNA of some football playing countries.

There was quite a loud voice amongst fans during Nigel Clough’s time as Manager, for the scouting team to cast their nets further afield when looking for players.

The arrival of Steve McClaren instilled hope that finding untapped foreign talent may once again resume at Pride Park after he was part of the team that brought in diamonds like Eranio, Wanchope & Baiano, with stunning results.

The first sign that perhaps McClaren’s contacts are on the look out around the globe, is a report yesterday on ‘’, suggesting the Rams are chasing a player who has been described modestly as both - Sweden & Uganda’s ‘Ronaldinho’.

The article suggested Derby County, Blackburn, Wigan and Birmingham have all shown interest in Martin Kayongo-Mutumba.

The 28 year old, Swedish born, Ugandan International, currently plies his trade for Allsvenskan side AIK, who recently finished runners up in the Swedish League and qualified for the Europa League in 2014/15.

From the videos available on Youtube, Mutumba has more tricks in his kit bag than David Copperfield.

The article linking him to Derby, reads a little like a press release from the player’s agent, as it is big on sell and small on actual facts about the clubs supposedly chasing him from the Championship.

This is an excerpt from the article - so you can see what I mean:

The tricky winger has been a key player for AIK this season, winning their award for the most assists and being placed 3rd overall in the league for creativity. Having already impressed against Manchester United this season in a pre-season friendly, in which he won Man of the Match, he commented on a possible move to England:

‘’It has always been a dream of mine since I was young to play in England. I have grown up watching English football in Sweden and I feel now the time is right to go and try and play in England’’

The player is clearly very keen on a move to England and he has been playing at the top of his game. With some of the Championship’s top clubs taking a very serious look at him, and perhaps even some Premier League clubs too, it will be interesting to see where Uganda’s answer to Ronaldinho ends up.

If he could produce similar highlights to those he produces for AIK (in videos above and below), he could be an exciting prospect, but while reading the article - it felt a bit like it would end with a 1300 number and even throw in a “Reserve your Mutumba today!”.

His highlights reel (at the bottom of the page) also feels like it should have a flashing “Call Now” as the hip music and slow mo are woven with his magical skills.

I could be being cynical but…… no I am definitely being cynical.

Whether or not Uganda’s ‘Ronaldinho’ is really being looked at by McClaren or his agent is just a marketing genius, one thing it highlights is the lack of a ‘flair’ players in the Rams team for some time.

Many fans are desperate to once again have a player who can turn a game on its ear with that burst of something special. A player who every child wants to have emblazoned on the back of their shirt, a player that is hated by opposition fans while being secretly envious of our superstar.

Hughes is a midfield maestro in the making but you have to go back to Kinkladze, Idiakez and Barnes if you want names that really had Rams fans on their feet, as they at times effortlessly bamboozled and dissected the opposition.

Nothing beats that feeling when a Derby player turns on his magic - for example - do you still not feel like cheering when you see Wanchope's goal vs. Man United?

The creativity and ability produced by players like Paulo, has been unrivalled for far too long. If McClaren can inject a bit of that into the squad, the home crowds will swell and fans will really believe the new dawn is approaching for Derby.

Eranios and Wanchopes are hard to find, but unless you have your net in the water, then you are only leaving them for someone else to reel in. I have no doubt Macca has many nets in the water and it is only a matter of time before we see an imported player once again at Pride Park.

Whether one of them will become the 'Rams Ronaldinho', is anybody’s guess... but it does have a nice ring to it.

To get a taste of Uganda’s ‘Ronaldinho’ in action – below are some more of his highlight videos:

Photo: Action Images

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pkay_brum added 10:35 - Nov 7
Much ado about nothing?

The local media report - probably more accurate than excitable remote sources - says the Derby linkage with this player is 'wide of the mark':

I think we'd all be surprised if Steve Mac didn't cast his net wider for players.

Few teams win owt nowadays with just 'home nations' players - even at Championship level.

I for one do hope that the apparent grass-roots changes planned by the football hierarchy to increase the quality and percentage of home-grown players bring results.

However, Derby has been far too introverted and parochial in squad recruitment, due to the unambitious and inadequate scouting regime, so I look forward to seeing the 'new cosmopolitan' Rams' the Mac will recruit!

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