Phillip Cocu arrived at Derby County last summer but was barely given time to make any moves in the summer transfer window before the season began.
The Dutch boss was a rather late replacement for Frank Lampard, who took over as manager at Chelsea following his time with the Rams.
Coming into Pride Park after an impressive spell with PSV, Cocu has slowly but surely developed his side, and an improvement in form since the turn of 2020, has got fans of the club looking towards a potential play-off place.
Having looked to bring in some new options for his squad over the January transfer window, Cocu was fairly subdued in doing so – seeing Wayne Rooney arrive on a pre-planned deal following his contract expiration at Major League Soccer side DC United.
The Dutch tactician is fully focused for now – on moving the Pride Park outfit up the Championship table, but he has already started planning for next season – sealing a deal for Mike te Wierik, who will arrive from Dutch side Groningen later this summer.
With focus turning to the transfer window come the end of the season, we have taken a look at TWO players in the Derby academy that Cocu could promote and save spending cash on…
Sibley is your typically gifted English midfielder being good on the ball and creative in the meantime.
The youngster has played a massive part in the club’s U18 side, helping them to the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League with a goal against Borussia Dortmund in the play-off stage.
Sibley has already featured for Derby’s first team this season, and has appeared on the bench from time to time.
His potential and extremely likely promotion to the first team fold – will hand Cocu with a superb midfield/attacking talent.
After spending 14 years developing at West Ham United, Hector-Ingram has impressed during his time with Derby, netting nine goals in 16 league games this season for the U23 side.
The 21-year-old striker won October’s Premier League 2 player of the month and his impressive performances are continuing.
Having turned down the offer to remain with West Ham over the summer, it seems his decision to join Derby is now paying off – gaining credit for his performance against Feyenoord in the Premier League International Cup, where he scored from the penalty spot.
Hector-Ingram has everything it takes to become a good striker for Derby, but his chances will depend on Cocu’s faith in the club’s youth.