Speaking to the Derby Telegraph, Gary Rowett has admitted that Derby County could look to move the likes of Jonny Mitchell, Mason Bennett and Jamie Hanson out on-loan this month, with no guarantee the trio will gain first-team opportunities at the Pride Park Stadium.
Mitchell’s only appearances this season have come in the Carabao Cup, with Scott Carson ahead of the goalkeeper in Rowett’s pecking order and recently agreeing a new contract with the club.
The 23-year-old could find himself heading out on-loan in the coming week, along with Bennett, 21, and Hanson, 22.
Bennett’s last appearance came in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester United earlier this month, whilst Hanson also featured in that game and was named as an unused substitute in Derby’s last two Championship fixtures.
Rowett has now been discussing the trio, confirming that Derby could look to move them out on-loan, with all three more than deserving of first-team football after impressing in training.
The Derby boss said: “I think if you look at Jonny Mitchell, Mason Bennett, Jamie Hanson – all three of those players are in scenarios where they’ve done really well in training, their attitudes have been fantastic and they probably deserve to be playing more minutes, but because the team is performing well, it’s difficult to give them that.
“But for the long-term of the club and the long-term of those players, at some point, you have to think can we get another option in until the end of the season, which allows them to go and see if they can flourish in the last three months of the season, which means they can be a really strong option at the start of the (next) season?”
Derby currently sit second in the Championship table, trailing only Wolverhampton Wanderers, and looking to strengthen their grip on an automatic promotion challenge.
Rowett has used a select group of players, with the addition of Cameron Jerome adding to competition for places within that group.
The Rams are next in action a week today, when they travel to The Den to face Millwall.
Rowett is extremely honest about the future of some of the club’s fringe players, who in his view, will not be pushing Derby’s current first-team this season.
In that respect, it is a good move from Derby to let the trio leave on-loan, giving them the opportunity to impress ahead of next season.
The higher level Derby’s fringe players can gain experience at, the better for all involved.
Derby fans… Let us know your thoughts!