Speaking to the Derby Telegraph, Gary Rowett has confirmed that Joe Ledley could be handed his debut for Derby County this weekend, but is unlikely to start.
The Rams moved to sign Ledley earlier this week, with the experienced midfielder a free agent following his release from Crystal Palace at the end of the 2016/17 season.
Ledley has signed for Derby until January, and after agreeing a short-term deal with the Rams, he is in contention to feature against Birmingham City this weekend.
Rowett admitted the 30-year-old was unlikely to start Saturday’s clash with Birmingham, but despite not playing a club fixture since February, he could still make his debut this weekend.
Rowett said: “He looks fitter than you would expect after being out for so long.
“It is perhaps too soon for him to start this weekend but there’s a good chance he will be involved.”
Ledley has linked up with a Derby squad searching for some consistency in the Sky Bet Championship, with the Rams managing to pick up just 10 points from their opening seven fixtures of the season.
Rowett’s side are entering this weekend’s clash with Birmingham on the back of a disappointing defeat to Bristol City.
Despite taking the lead at Ashton Gate last weekend, Derby conceded four second-half goals to eventually lose 4-1 to Lee Johnson’s side.
This weekend’s opponents, Birmingham, are set for their first fixture since Harry Redknapp’s departure as manager.
Ledley has not played much football throughout 2017, and it will be no surprise to see Rowett hold the midfielder back this weekend against Birmingham, particularly with a hectic end to September ahead.
However, the 30-year-old has obviously kept his fitness levels up, with Rowett indicating his debut is not far away.
The Welsh midfielder not only has the potential to offer depth to Derby’s squad, he could also become a key player for Rowett as he tries to find some consistency.
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