Carlisle United have made Derby County striker Jack Stretton their tenth summer signing.

The 20-year-old forward has joined the Cumbrians on a season-long loan.

Stretton looks set to go straight into Paul Simpson’s squad to take on Colchester United on Saturday.

The frontman has featured in Derby’s first-team as well as gaining experience on loan with Stockport County.

He was on the bench for the Rams’ League One opener against Oxford United last weekend.

But Derby’s signing of Everton’s Lewis Dobbin this week has led interim manager Liam Rosenior to allow Stretton out on loan.

Blues boss Simpson said: “He’s quite a solid lad for a youngster, and he’s a goalscorer – he’s got a really good record at academy level.

“I wouldn’t say he has blistering pace but has good legs to get in behind and he stretches defences.

“It’s something I think we needed to bring in to go alongside what we’ve got at the moment, and hopefully he’ll show us what he’s all about.”

Stretton joined Derby’s youth ranks in 2018 after being released by Nottingham Forest and, after impressing for their Under-23s, was handed his first-team chance by former boss Wayne Rooney.

He made four first-team outings in the 2020/21 Championship season, and also scored three goals in five loan outings for Stockport in the National League.

Last season then saw Stretton feature 12 times for the Rams’ first team under Rooney, scoring his first goal for the club in a 2-1 defeat to Peterborough United last August.

Stretton, born in Newhall, south Derbyshire, was on Derby’s books as a youngster whilst Simpson was assisting Steve McClaren with the first team, but it is in more recent years that the forward came on the Carlisle boss’s radar.

“He was too young for what we were doing [while I was at Derby] – we didn’t really focus on the under-16s or the younger age groups so he was a bit before me – but he’s a player whose name I’ve heard mentioned quite a lot.

“I saw him a little bit when I would be going and watching [for England’s youth sides] the likes of Morgan Whittaker and Louie Sibley and Lee Buchanan at Derby. Jack every now and again was involved.

“When we were looking for a striker and at different options, and his name popped up, we just decided as a group of staff he’d be the right addition for us.”

Stretton trained with United today and Simpson confirmed: “He will be involved in the squad that travels to Colchester at the weekend.”

The Carlisle manager added: “He seems a really good character from the references I’ve had about him and also my conversations I’ve had with him.

“I’m delighted Derby County have helped us to allow him to come in.

“This is a fella who was on the bench in their first team last Saturday – it’s not like he’s been totally out of the picture, but they’ve been a position this week to add another to their group and we’ve been allowed to take him.”

Simpson said Stretton will add good quality competition in the attacking areas at a time United’s forward line is depleted with the injury absence of Tobi Sho-Silva.

He added: “I certainly think he’s going to complement what we’ve got. I think it’s another addition to what is a strong group already.

“We lost Tobi with a hamstring injury and he’s out for a number more weeks. We needed another player.

“Nic Bollado has been involved with us, but I think Jack is just a little bit further ahead than where Nic’s at at the moment, so Nic will drop down the pecking order.

“Although I want to develop our own players, I also want to win now – to have a good chance of winning games now. That’s what’s going to keep this club developing.”