Derby County are in a very uncertain position as we head towards the January transfer window with the club staring down the barrel of relegation to League One.
The Rams have made a good fist of it this season and would have a six point cushion over the bottom three if it was not for the points deductions but it may get a lot tougher come the turn of the year. Derby are 19 points from safety with 26 matches remaining for Wayne Rooney’s side to pull themselves closer to arguably the greatest of all escapes from relegation.
Senior players have stepped up enormously in Phil Jagielka and Curtis Davies with summer signings Sam Baldock and Ravel Morrison applying themselves admirably to the cause.
Here, we have taken a look at three main transfer talking points with under a month to go until the window opens…
At present the club will not be able to pay any transfer fees or loan fees in the January transfer window due to the restraints put on them by the EFL and administration. Therefore, Rooney’s most likely area of recruitment will be in the form of free agents or taking on younger players on loan deals.
This could all be written off if a takeover is completed before the window, but should that not be the case, which currently looks likely, the odds are stacked against them in terms of improving the squad.
Rooney is in charge
DerbyshireLive published an article this morning where Rooney explained that it would be his final decision if any player does depart Pride Park in January.
He said: “If players leave it will be because there is an opportunity for them, and they may come to me and say I want to leave – if I am being honest, I can’t see any players doing that – or it is because I have said to the players ‘thank you, it is probably better of you move on’. No player will leave this club without me giving it the go-ahead.”
Given the state of the club financially it is a huge positive that the manager still feels as if he has an element of control over the transfer dealings. Hopefully, the all time England top scorer will be able to keep the group of players onside to avoid too many crushing exits.
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The Daily Mail reported recently that due to being one of the highest earners at the club, Tom Lawrence could be set to leave for free in January as the administrators look to reduce expenditure on player wages. This naturally brought a lot of interest from other second tier clubs who can smell a bargain.
It will be interesting to monitor how this one plays out with the Derby captain in such fine form in front of goal of late.