After missing out on the play-offs despite reaching the top spot in the Championship on three separate occasions, an inquest is under way as to what went wrong in the final three months of the season.
Many Derby fans blame injuries to crucial players and rumours surrounding Steve McClaren’s future, but if the club are to improve on this season, they should look towards the transfer activity of the club which is now coming under question.
Here’s a review of the players brought in this season to see whether they helped or not helped…
2nd choice goalkeeper who has had limited chances to show his worth.
A few cup games has shown he is capable of stepping up when 1st choice Lee Grant is unavailable however when Grant was injured earlier in the season, the club loaned Stoke’s Jack Butland.
Grant has also struggled with form at times throughout the season – but without the threat of a better goalie behind him, he may have had no motivation to be better.
An attacking full back that showed promise in the first part of the season – since then, Christie has struggled and became a target of weakness by other teams.
Compared to on loan Andre Wisdom from the previous season, Christie has not got a great reputation with some Derby fans now – but even his admirers are left wondering whether he’s made the Derby team better.
A permanent deal to bring Ryan Shotton to Derby was met with surprise amongst fans as details of the deal weren’t announced until 2 months later.
He’s quick and powerful and the kind of central defender the Rams have never had.
But is overall game is poor at times leaving him to make last ditch tackles.
He’s been used as a utility player which has not benefitted his development, but he is one that could still prove to be valuable next season.
A strange signing in many ways.
Raul was plucked from Spanish La Liga minnows Eibar in front of a dozen Top European teams.
After joining the club in January on a permanent deal, he has been in and out of the team and been found out to be slow and immobile.
It’s hard to judge a foreign player after just a few months, but a run in the team and time for him to settle may make him a great addition to the side.
Used as a bit part player since joining on loan in January, Lingard has added something different to the side.
He’s scored one goal for the Rams but failed to make a greater impact. A good prospect, but Derby next season need established players.
The clubs marquee signing in the summer worth over £2 million, but the injury prone holding midfielder has only made 3 appearances.
On the face of it, the deal has been terrible for the club, but Thorne is a wonderful player that brings the best out of Derby’s attacking set of players.
If kept fit, he will be the difference between promotion or mid-table mediocrity.
Brought in on loan in January, Tom Ince is the kind of player that suits Derby’s style of play.
He’s scored 11 goals in 18 games including some screamers, but he can be a little lazy at times defending.
Regardless Ince would be a terrific signing, but are the club going to meet the demands of Hull City who would want around £5 million for his services.
A holding midfielder the club recruited from Real Madrid on loan for the season.
After a stuttering start, Mascarell got used to the Championship and played his part in a great run of form.
However a ligament injury in March ruled the player out for the rest of the season. A big miss in a role that the Derby team relies on to protect the back four.
10 goals in 14 appearances is a brilliant return but despite Bent being out of contract, the chances of him staying at Derby are slim.
He’s added a “plan b” to Derby’s way of play as well as scoring crucial goals in crucial games.
If Derby can keep him, it would be a welcome miracle after a disappointing season.
Useless from the start, Leon Best failed to score, create a chance, or even have impact in a game.
He’s been used upfront and as a winger, but it wasn’t a surprise when Derby decided to cancel his loan agreement with Blackburn earlier in the season.
A great addition to the Derby side but Butland is destined for the premier league.
Now back at Stoke, Derby will be a distant memory as he looks to claim number one spot for a club looking for a top 10 finish.
Future England player in the making, but he’ll never come to Derby again.