Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has admitted he is still yet to come to a decision on full-back Craig Forsyth’s future after taking him off against Cardiff City this afternoon, speaking to the Rams’ media team.
The 33-year-old has been a regular first-teamer for the East Midlands side this term, making 25 league appearances and predominantly operating as a left-back this season.
However, his off-field contribution has probably been just as important as one of the older heads in a very inexperienced squad, though his future is currently unclear with his side’s takeover yet to be completed.
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Although Chris Kirchner has gone through most of the stages needed to seal the takeover of the relegated side, who are still in administration and real financial danger at this point, a deal regarding Pride Park is yet to be completed and this is why the US businessman is yet to take control of the club.
Because of this, no new deals can be handed out to players just yet, many of whom are out of contract in the summer including Forsyth who looks set to depart the second-tier side as things stand.
But Rooney has revealed that he hasn’t even made a decision on the defender’s future yet.
He said: “I’ve spoken to Fozzy and I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that we are still making a decision on that but they (Forsyth and Lawrence) have played in large parts of the season.
“Fozzy started the game and it was more for Festy Ebosele to come on and both he and Luke Plange have been excellent this season under circumstances they have had to leave the club.”
The left-back will probably feel hard done by if he doesn’t earn a new deal but regardless of what happens, he can leave Pride Park with his head held high after playing a valuable part in the Rams’ push for survival.
However, you can see why Rooney may want to let go of him because he isn’t likely to be on a modest salary compared to some others in the first-team squad and if they release him, they may be able to get two or three players in return and that could make all the difference.
Depth is desperately needed and this is why they need to minimise individual salaries to keep their wage bill at a reasonable level, something that will be particularly important with the club plying their trade in the third tier next season.
As well as this, they have a younger alternative in Lee Buchanan who can play on the left-hand side and there’s a 12-month option on his contract if that was to trigger that extension, so he and Curtis Davies could provide a good mix of youth and experience in defence next season if they are retained.
Buchanan is a player who has plenty of potential so he should be a starter next season, potentially with Forsyth on the bench on a much-reduced wage if he’s willing to accept it. If not, the Rams will probably be forced to let him go.