Derby County will be licking their wounds this week as they come to terms with the prospect of another season in the Championship, having lost to Aston Villa in the play-off final at the weekend.
Rams manager Frank Lampard’s mood may be lifted though with the news that loan defender Fikayo Tomori would not be adverse to another loan spell at Pride Park next season.
“Of course,” Tomori said, when asked if he’d like a return to Derby next season.
“I have loved it. I grew so much as a player. Derby is such a great club,” Tomori told BBC East Midlands Sport.
England Under-21, Tomori enjoyed a full season under Lampard, with two goals and one assist in 51 appearances for the Rams.
So what are the chances of Tomori returning to Pride Park for a second season?
“If they can do it it’s a great move for all involved but finance will play a part.
“Can Derby strike an arrangement with Chelsea? It’s something that Lampard will hope to do.”
“It’s the best move for both parties, and I can definitely see this happening.
“Tomori needs to be playing regular first-team football and he is unlikely to get that at Chelsea at the moment, even with their transfer ban, so another move to Derby would make sense for the player.
“He was an important player for Derby in the Championship this season and I’m sure Derby would be keen to have him at the club next season.”
“It’s a real possibility.
“Tomori was excellent for Derby this season, and without him, there’s absolutely no chance that they would have made the top six under Frank Lampard’s guidance.
“He needs his long-term future resolved, and I just can’t see Chelsea having a place for him.
“A lot rests on whether Lampard stays with Derby, but the Rams should be looking to sing him ASAP with other clubs likely to be interested in signing him ahead of next season.”