Derby County manager Phillip Cocu has revealed that George Thorne could be allowed to leave the club on loan again this month due to a lack of first-team opportunities at Pride Park.
The midfielder, who joined the Rams on a permanent deal in 2014 from West Bromwich Albion, spent the first-half of the 2019/20 campaign with Oxford United.
Thorne’s stint with the Yellows ultimately ended in disaster as he suffered a dislocated shoulder during the club’s clash with Lincoln City in September which resulted in him missing several months of action.
Although the 27-year-old has now returned to Derby, he could be about to rejoin Oxford for the remainder of the campaign.
According to the Witney Gazette, U’s manager Karl Robinson is reportedly interested in securing the services of Thorne.
Given that the likes of Tom Huddlestone, Max Bird and Krystian Bielik are all ahead of Thorne in the pecking order at Derby, he may potentially benefit from some time away from the club.
Speaking to the Derby Telegraph ahead of the Rams’ clash with Middlesbrough about whether the midfielder could be loaned out in the coming weeks, Cocu said: “It is a possibility.”
“Because of his injury, he couldn’t play for quite some time.
“If the possibility pops up for him, it will be the best to play again.
“In our team, at the moment, it is not an option for him.”
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When you consider that Thorne hasn’t played a fixture for Derby since their 4-1 defeat to Sunderland in March 2018, it could be argued that he may not be missed by the club if they do allow to leave this month.
With his contract at Pride Park set to expire at the end of the season, the midfielder will be hoping to use the remainder of the season as a platform in which he can impress potential suitors.
However, given that Cocu has confirmed that he is not being considered as an option for Derby’s first-team, Thorne may need to move away on loan if he is to prove that he is still able to produce the goods at a competitive level.