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Former Derby County player makes confident contract claim on the Rams amid potential summer exodus



Former Derby County player Eric Steele believes the Rams may be able to tie down as many as five or six of their players who are out of contract in the summer to new deals, speaking to BBC Radio Derby.

The East Midlands outfit are facing a summer exodus as things stand with a takeover yet to be completed and several players’ deals set to expire at the end of the 2021/22 campaign, a real blow for manager Wayne Rooney who has a thin squad already.

This is due to the fact many of his former first-teamers have already departed Pride Park including Graeme Shinnie, Phil Jagielka and Kamil Jozwiak, all of whom have moved on this calendar year.

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More key players could be set in the coming months though including Tom Lawrence, Ryan Allsop, Colin Kazim-Richards, Ravel Morrison, Nathan Byrne, Curtis Davies and Craig Forsyth.

Although Barry Bannan remaining at Sheffield Wednesday will give the Rams hope of keeping hold of a player of Lawrence’s quality in the third tier, he is one of the favourites to move on with the club potentially limited in the salary they can offer those out of contract in the summer.

Regardless of this, ex-goalkeeper Steele is hopeful the club will be able to get at least five or six players tied down to fresh terms before they are able to walk away from Derby in just a couple of months.

He said: “You have got players that have played with Wayne who could be tempted to stay.

“Not all of them have to go. If Wayne is able to offer contracts, he could be able to keep five or six of them.

“They are the sort of signings you can make, ready-made players, we know what they can do and who can handle League One.”

The Verdict:

Although Rooney may want to focus on a fresh approach, he will also want to keep some of those who have played a key part this season because Derby would be in the Championship next season if it wasn’t for their deductions.

This should mean their current players can help to mount a third-tier promotion challenge next term, though it will be difficult for them to get back to their current division at the first time of asking as Sunderland have experienced.

Keeping a decent chunk of those players whilst also injecting some fresh blood to provide some much-needed squad depth will only help them in their quest to secure a quick second-tier return.

The likes of Davies and Byrne have contributed positively to the cause as well as Allsop and Lawrence, so that quartet surely have to be near the top of the list to be handed a new deal. Getting Davies tied down may be more realistic than the others though.

And it remains to be seen whether Kazim-Richards will earn a new deal following his injury troubles this term – because the Rams desperately need players who will provide value for money and the forward may not provide that if he spends more time on the sidelines next season.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Former Derby County player makes confident contract claim on the Rams amid potential summer exodus

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