Derby boss Frank Lampard says Jack Marriott's experience of 'real football' could serve him well as he aims to make it to the top.
Lampard cited the career paths of many of England's 2018 World Cup squad as examples of what players can achieve having had either loan or permanent spells with clubs in the lower divisions or non-league.
And with Marriott fitting firmly into that category thanks to his time with the likes of Woking, Carlisle, Luton and Peterborough, he hopes it will have had a positive effect.
Lampard said: "His career up to now has been a good journey for him and he’s been through the ‘real football’ side of things which I like. You’ve only got to look at the England squad at the World Cup this year to see how many of those players had similar routes.
“It’s good for the character of the player and it takes fight and quality to go up a level again and he’s shown that, particularly with his quality as to score that many goals last year is a great sign of what he’s got. Now it’s up to Jack to go that step further."
Marriott was courted by several clubs following his successful season with Peterborough and Lampard was delighted to get his man.
He said: "We faced a lot of competition. Goalscorers are hard to get but we worked hard and I’m pleased the club has supported me. Some of the figures quoted are not quite right in terms of what we’ve paid but you always have to work hard to get these kind of players.
“Hopefully what we’re doing here will be exciting for Jack to be part of as we keep moving forward with another young talent."
Lampard also expects to see Marriott give plenty of Championship defenders the runaround as he tries to make his mark.
He added: "He’s a strong boy, I can see that from having watched him play, and he’ll need to be in the Championship but he knows that.
“But he wants to run. He’s got pace, wants to run in behind defenders and they won’t like that, so we’re keen to keep improving him.”