Whilst Derby County fans get excited about a certain big-name player coming to Pride Park from the MLS, there might be time for them to think about one man who went the other way.
Johnny Russell left the east Midlands team to join Sporting Kansas City in the States back in 2018, having made just over 200 appearances for the club in all competitions over a five-year stint. In that time, Russell grabbed 35 goals and recorded 34 assists for the Rams.
Perhaps one of his most notable performances in the black and white of Derby came in the 2015/16 Championship season. In a 4-1 win over Bolton Wanderers in April, the Scotsman contributed to every single goal. He scored two and set up the others amid run of games which saw the winger record four goals and three assists in one month of action.
By far, though, Russell is best known for his wonder strike against arch-rivals Nottingham Forest. On what is perhaps considered to be one of the club’s greatest days in the last 10 years, Russell scored from 25 yards to round off an emphatic 5-0 win over the Reds. His effort flew into the top corner right in front of the away supporters at Pride Park in one of the most iconic derby day victories ever.
Speaking of goals – and moving away from reliving past memories – how has he been getting on recently as the MLS season came to an end?
Well, Russell ended the MLS season, scoring nine goals and helping with eight assists. He has become a regular at Children’s Mercy Park, making 34 appearances throughout the course of the season.
He finished as the club’s second top scorer behind only Felipe Gutierrez on 12. With his assists combined, though, no player made more goal contributions to the side.
His team, however, didn’t enjoy a good season overall. They finished second bottom of the Western Conference division and were just four points off the summit.
Overall, Russell has enjoyed his time overseas. He has managed 21 goals and 19 assists in 71 games since joining the side and at 29-years-old, he still has some way to go.