The January transfer window is just around the corner, and an interesting month awaits Derby County both on and off the pitch.
The Rams are still waiting to be taken over by Abu Dhabi royal Sheikh Khaled, whose proposed takeover has been approved by the EFL but is yet to be confirmed by the club.
It remains to be seen whether the potential new owners stick with Wayne Rooney and give him the job on a permanent basis, after going unbeaten in his last four games in charge.
There is likely to be a reshuffle amongst the playing squad, with players likely to come in and strengthen the squad and players likely to leave.
Here, we take a look at three Derby players who will be desperate to prove a point as the January transfer window draws ever closer…
Marriott is set to have talks with Wayne Rooney in the next couple of weeks, with his future at both Derby and Sheffield Wednesday up in the air.
After falling out of favour under Phillip Cocu, Marriott joined Sheffield Wednesday on a season-long loan deal in October, but an injury saw him return to Derby.
He’s edging closer to a full return from injury, but it remains to be seen whether Derby look to keep hold of him rather than send him back to Hillsborough.
After scoring only three goals in 37 games last season, the jury is out on Marriott, and he will be eager to prove a point to Rooney in the next couple of weeks.
Lawrence has been far too hit-and-miss for a while now, and this January could be an interesting month for the Wales international.
Lawrence has been in and out of the team this season, and he was named on the bench against Brentford in midweek with Kamil Jozwiak and Jason Knight both impressing.
Jozwiak is starting to show his real quality in front of goal, whilst Duane Holmes and Knight are also looking impressive in the three-man midfield behind the striker.
Lawrence needs to fight for his place and work hard to reclaim his place in this Derby side.
Bird was a regular for Derby in the early stages of the campaign under Cocu, and even captained the side on multiple occasions having signed a new deal in the summer.
But the midfielder has played 90 minutes of football in only one of Derby’s last four games, and was an unused substitute against Brentford on Wednesday.
Since Krystian Bielik returned from injury, the Poland international has been faultless and produced his best performance of the season in midweek.
Bird will be hoping to prove to Rooney that he can be Bielik’s midfield partner, and reclaim his place in the side ahead of Graeme Shinnie going forward.