It does seem as though things may slowly be moving in the right direction for Derby County once again.
With the recent announcement of Chris Kirchner as the preffered bidder to buy the Pride Park club, now look to be moving forward in a way that suggests Derby fans may still have a club to support come the start of the 2022/23 season.
But while that is certainly good news for the Rams, there is no denying that they will still find themselves in a challenging position heading into the summer.
Having seen their relegation from the Championship to League One confirmed earlier this month, and with the club unable to agree new contracts for players due to restrictions placed on them, there is still a chance we could something of a mass exodus from Pride Park in the coming months.
Given the quality that some of those who could be on their way out of Derby possess, that is something that other clubs across the country should be ready to take advantage, and one such example of that, is Blackburn Rovers.
Like Derby, Blackburn are facing their own contract issues this summer, with several key players set to see their deals at Ewood Park expire when the season comes to an end, with little sign of new agreements being reached.
One position where that could be an issue is right-back, where Ryan Nyambe looks set to be among those to move on, while an injury spell since joining in January has prevented Deyo Zeefuik from really taking a chance to convince Rovers they should make his loan move permanent to fill that role.
As a result, that right-hand side of defence does become an area where you feel Blackburn could look to exploit Derby’s own troubles, to solve their problem in that position.
With Nathan Byrne among those who is out of contract at Derby in the summer, he is one option who Rovers surely must be considering to fill that potential void at right-back.
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Having made almost 200 Championship appearances to date, there is no doubt that the 29-year-old knows just what is required of him at this level, having proven to be a consistently reliable figure even during what has been such a difficult time of things for Derby in the past 12 months or so.
That means he could certainly step up to the plate at this level for the Ewood Park club, while his experience – not least in dealing with tough situations such as Derby’s – could see him become something of a source of guidance and leadership in what is still a relatively young Rovers squad.
Beyond that, Byrne’s past experience with Wigan, where he spent several years at the DW Stadium, also means he is no stranger to the north west, which would no doubt help him to settle in were he to make the switch to Blackburn.
Furthermore, the right-back’s contract status of course means he could also be available for free in the summer, which would obviously help Rovers from a financial perspective as they look to stay on the right side of the EFL’s Profit and Sustainability regulations that have cost Derby so dearly recently.
It seems therefore, that with Derby’s situation being one that many clubs could yet benefit from, Blackburn should be paying close attention to ensure that they are not left behind in taking such an opportunity, in such an important position for them.