Phillip Cocu has made Everton's England Under-21 midfielder Kieran Dowell his first signing at Derby County.

Dowell has moved to Pride Park on a season-long loan deal.

The 21-year-old also played in the Championship last season, helping Sheffield United to gain promotion to the Premier League.

"He is an exciting young player with a lot of potential, and I am looking forward to working with him," Cocu told Derby's official website.

Dowell's arrival follows Cocu's appointment of former Brighton and Hove Albion defender Liam Rosenior as first-team coach.

Ex-Netherlands and Barcelona midfielder Cocu was brought in by Derby when Frank Lampard took the reins with former club Chelsea after a solitary season in charge of the Rams.

Sheffield United moved back into second place in the Championship table after a hard-fought 1-0 win over fellow promotion hopefuls West Brom.

Only one point separated the two sides before Saturday's clash at the Hawthorns, but Kieran Dowell's 14th-minute goal ensured that gap has now widened to four.

Dowell headed home from Martin Cranie's cross to give the Blades an early lead before Marvin Johnson missed a chance to double their advantage.

West Brom laid siege on the United goal for much of the second half but they were unable to find a way through, with Jay Rodriguez seeing a late effort disallowed for deliberate handball.

Victory lifts Chris Wilder's men back above Leeds United on goal difference and into the automatic promotion places, the Blades sitting just two points behind leaders Norwich City.

Kieran Dowell has joined Sheffield United's promotion push on loan from Everton for the rest of the season.

The 21-year-old midfielder scored nine goals in 38 Championship appearances during a loan spell at Nottingham Forest last term.

According to the Blades, Dowell will be available from January 2, a day after Chris Wilder's squad to face Wigan Athletic. However, he could make his debut in their FA Cup match at home to Barnet next Sunday.

"We tried to sign Kieran in the summer when David Brooks left [to join Bournemouth]. Kieran is a talented player, left-footed, brings a balance to the group and gives us competition at the top of the pitch," Wilder told the club's website.

"He had a great loan at Nottingham Forest last season and was in and around the first team at Everton in the summer when we tried to make a move then.

"We've been persistent, we've watched him, I went up to Scotland to watch him for England Under-21s and he's a talented footballer who wants to play games.

"We're looking for him to replicate what he did at Forest and hopefully a little bit more, we feel Kieran will add goals and assists to the group."

Although they have only won two of their past last five league games, the Blades are fourth in the Championship and just seven points outside the automatic promotion places.

Dowell's arrival could result in Liverpool loanee Ben Woodburn leaving the club, having only featured once in the Championship.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.