Derby County’s stay in the Championship is set to extend to a 10th consecutive year after the Rams failed to mount a top six push this season.
Poor form under former managers, Nigel Pearson and Steve McClaren, have seen the club to a mid table finish, and yet another year in England’s second division.
Despite spending big this summer, Derby never looked like threatening, and new manager, Gary Rowett, will begin his first full season in charge with promotion on the mind.
He may have to achieve this feat without some of the current squad, and one player who could leave the club is winger, Tom Ince.
Son of former England international, Paul, the 25-year-old has been at Pride Park since 2015, and has scored 25 times in only 83 appearances.
This season has proved bountiful for the winger, with the former Hull City player notching an impressive 13 strikes in 39 Championship starts in the current campaign.
Ince turned down contract offers from Monaco and Inter Milan to sign a deal with Premier League Hull – yeah, really – when his contract with Blackpool expired, and a return to the top flight may be on the cards this summer.
Crystal Palace winger, Wilfried Zaha, has been linked with a big money move away from Selhurst Park this summer, and a move back to the club Ince spent 8 games on loan with in 2014 could be in the offing.
Zaha is a great player, but doesn’t offer the goals that Ince has proven to provide.
The Ivory Coast international has notched 6 goals this year and assisted a further 9, but the reported £40 million fee that Palace are demanding for the former Manchester United winger is absurd.
Ince could offer a similar impact at the club that Zaha has shown, and would cost considerably less.
If the Eagles are offered such a vast sum for the player, they should gratefully accept, and bid for Derby’s Ince, who would cost a fraction of the touted amount manager, Sam Allardyce, has valued the player at.
Sell Zaha. Buy Ince. Have a lot of money to play around with next summer.
Surely a no brainer for the one time England boss.