Derby County fans have been given a major boost in their ongoing search for central defenders, as photos from the club’s Twitter account showed Richard Stearman and Phil Jagielka with squad numbers on their training kit.
The defensive duo were spotted training with The Rams last week after it emerged that the club had no contracted centre-backs available.
Jagielka, who is now 38 years old, made 10 appearances for Sheffield United last season, as they were relegated back to the second-tier.
Whilst Stearman, who is five years younger, saw his game time at Huddersfield decrease as last season progressed.
The fact that they have been pictured with squad numbers on their training kit does not confirm that they are both going to be Derby players for the upcoming season, but it is certainly a further indication that both deals might just go through.
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) July 13, 2021
Stearman and Jagielka are very experienced professionals who would certainly offer stability for Wayne Rooney’s side during a time of continued uncertainty.
They are both highly intelligent footballers, who despite not being as athletic as they once were, can still operate at this level of football.
Derby have seen several academy graduates taste first-team football in the last couple of years, and with the current situation at the club, this is not expected to change. So, having players like Stearman and Jagielka would certainly help their progression.
Should Derby sign these two defenders, they are arrivals who only address the immediate future. The Rams are not in a position to recruit young, hungry defensive reinforcements like they once were, and temporarily fixing the problem they have seems like it will have to do this year.