This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Derby County are reportedly yet to hold official talks with Tom Huddlestone over a new deal, despite the fact that the midfielder’s current contract is set to expire at the end of June.
The EFL announced on Sunday that the Championship is set to get back underway on the 20th of June and will likely conclude with the play-off final on or around the 30th of July.
Huddlestone’s part in the run-in remains up in the air as, according to The Athletic, the Rams have not held formal discussions with the 33-year-old over a new deal.
It is understood he is keen to finish his career at Pride Park but is not afraid to walk away if he feels the club’s offer is unsatisfactory and is concerned about picking up an injury that could limit his options if he does become a free agent later this summer.
It is an intriguing situation but should the Rams look to offer Huddlestone a new deal? We asked our FLW writers for their verdict…
I’m not sure I see the need for Huddlestone on a short-term deal, the Rams have a host of midfield talent kicking around now and leaning on Huddlestone’s experience isn’t as essential now.
Wayne Rooney is covering that in terms of the centre of midfield, with his influence on the squad helping a number of the club’s younger players progress.
For me, they are the future of the club and there is no need to carry Huddlestone any further than the end of this season.
He’s a good player and top professional, but he’s reached the time to depart Pride Park.
I personally feel that it’s time for Huddlestone and Derby County to part ways after what has been a mixed spell at Pride Park for the experienced midfielder.
Phillip Cocu is building a really young and vibrant squad at Derby, and I think it would benefit the club more if they were to stick with Max Bird in the middle of the park rather than putting their faith in a 33-year-old midfielder like Huddlestone.
I personally don’t feel like he has the pace and mobility to play a key part in Derby’s midfield, and the Rams have plenty of better options in the middle of the park like Bird, Wayne Rooney, Duane Holmes and Graeme Shinnie.
Whilst you do need the right blend of experience and youth in your squad if you are going to do well, and Huddlestone is a really experienced professional who has played at the highest level, Derby have enough experienced players to help the likes of Jason Knight and Louie Sibley develop.
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I think they should offer him a short-term deal.
Huddlestone’s hard work in the midfield often goes unnoticed, but you would imagine that he’ll have a positive impact off-the-field when it comes to helping younger players with their development, as he’s an experienced player who has played at a high level.
I still think he’s good enough to be playing in the Championship with Derby, and is a reliable option to have in Phillip Cocu’s squad.
It should be a no-brainer for the Rams boss to tie him down to a new deal in the near future. If they are to win promotion into the Premier League though, then I have my doubts as to whether he’s good enough for that level.