Experienced defender Phil Jagielka is training with Derby County with a view to potentially signing with the club, according to The Sun.
The 38-year-old left Sheffield United this summer having made just 16 league appearances in his second stint with the Blades, however he more-than held his own whenever he featured for the Yorkshire side.
With clearly no plans to retire just yet, Jagielka is attempting to prove that he’s worth being offered a deal with the Rams, and Wayne Rooney is apparently keen to do so with the EFL’s approval.
Let’s look at THREE knock-on effects that could happen at Pride Park should Derby tie up a deal for the former England international.
No Curtis Davies return
As of right now, Derby have no senior centre-backs on the books whatsoever thanks to loanees returning to their parent clubs and both Andre Wisdom and Curtis Davies’ contracts expiring.
Wisdom could potentially return after being offered a deal – there have been talks with Davies regarding his situation but if Jagielka comes into the fold then surely that signals the end of talks with Davies.
There would be no need for two players over the age of 35 in the same position for Derby so Jagielka training with the club could be a big sign that Davies is moving on after four years with the club, although he is still training with the club.
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A new leader in the dressing room
Looking at Derby’s squad right now, there isn’t much in the way of experience with just three players over the age of 30 in David Marshall, Craig Forsyth and Colin Kazim-Richards.
Obviously there’s a chance that Davies could re-sign but if Jagielka were to put pen-to-paper on a deal then he would become the most experienced in the dressing room – both in terms of age and his top flight history.
Jagielka has won promotion to the Premier League, made over 300 appearances in the top flight and earned 40 England caps, so even if he couldn’t play 46 matches in a season he could definitely offer a lot of know-how.
Potential Rooney replacement in the dugout?
When Rooney was brought into the fold at Pride Park back in 2020, he was immediately given a coaching role alongside his playing contract and he was clearly being primed to be potentially the next County manager.
That ended up happening of course and the same process could be applied to Jagielka – due to his reputation if Rooney has a good campaign in 2021-22 he will be wanted by bigger clubs although that’s just a possibility at this stage.
Jagielka has lots of experience at being a leader on the pitch but is yet to start doing his coaching badges – although they can be easily started and you can’t really think of more natural leaders from recent Premier League times than him to become a manager in the near future.