The Man Who Never Was: Chris Porter moves to Sheffield United

On the news that Chris Porter had signed for Sheffield United yesterday, Blades blog asked me to provide a few notes on the player, which I was happy to do.

Here’s what I wrote: –

Chris Porter was Nigel Clough’s first signing as Derby County manager.  The Rams managed to gazump Cardiff City to sign the Wigan-born striker, who arrived from Motherwell for £400,000 at the end of January 2009 with a decent reputation as a goalscorer.

He made a great start to his Rams career by bagging a brace in his first home start, a 2-2 draw with Swansea City, then followed up by scoring in a 2-1 home win against Bristol City days later.  Unfortunately, that was about as good as it got for him at Pride Park.


After the Bristol City game, Porter didn’t feature again for the rest of the 2008/09 season due to a hip injury and after undergoing surgery, was ultimately ruled out of contention until December 2009 by this problem.  On returning, he got the winner at Watford in his first start of the 2009/10 season and was in and out of the team thereafter, scoring three more times.

Last season was therefore make or break for Porter, as he entered the last year of his Rams contract.  Unfortunately, he broke down again during a League Cup tie at Crewe in August 2010, moving Clough to spit, “we’re sick to death of Porter, him and his hip”.

After this setback, he was barely able to feature again for Derby.  He started just six times last season and although he did score both goals in a 2-1 win at doomed Preston North End, it was no surprise that he was released this summer.

If Porter is actually fit again and the hip problem is genuinely resolved, then you have got yourselves a natural goalscorer.  He is not the most mobile of centre forwards and not a great footballer, but he does have that crucial knack for finding the back of the net and could really flourish in League One.

The question mark, of course, is whether he’s going to break down again.

Best of luck for the coming season,

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