Just when it seemed like a corner may finally be turning off the pitch at Derby County, a colossal hammer-blow dropped on them in the last 24 hours from the EFL.
With Rams fans expecting a preferred bidder for the club to be named imminently, the Football League instead demanded that the club’s administrators – Quantuma – to provide proof of funding for the rest of the season in case a takeover does not go through.
Until that happens, County have been banned from not only signing players but getting current players to sign new contracts – and that has forced Phil Jagielka out of the club.
Quiz: Can you name which club Derby County signed these 28 defenders from?
The ex-England international had agreed terms on a new deal but with the club unable to sign off on it, the 39-year-old, who had been a stalwart at the back this season alongside Curtis Davies, has departed.
Jagielka now looks set to switch to Stoke City for the rest of the season and one person who is particularly upset about this seemingly is Derby’s Richard Stearman, who sent a two-emoji message on Twitter regarding the veteran defender’s departure.
— Richard Stearman (@the_stears) January 14, 2022
Jagielka’s untimely exit means that Stearman will now have to step up in his absence.
An experienced hand himself, the 34-year-old has only played eight times this season and that’s mainly down to the fantastic form showed by both Jagielka and Curtis Davies at the back.
Some of the times Stearman has slotted in though he’s proven that he’s still got it as well, so Jagielka’s departure may not be felt as much as imagined.
Rest assured though this situation is a bad one for Derby and Wayne Rooney, who was not only desperate to keep the ex-Everton man but also wanted to add fresh faces and now he cannot do that.