Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has revealed he hasn’t received clearance to make more signings before the end of the window to Derbyshire Live, as the Manchester United legend looks to add to what is still a depleted squad.
After enduring a stressful summer with their EFL-imposed transfer embargo, they have been able to bring five senior signings in and tie centre-back Curtis Davies down to a new contract in their quest to stay afloat in the Championship this season.
Ryan Allsop and Richard Stearman came in just before the start of the season, with Ravel Morrison signing a couple of days later. But it was Colin Kazim-Richards’ injury against Peterborough United earlier this month that allowed the Rams to recruit Phil Jagielka and Sam Baldock as their fourth and fifth signings of the summer.
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With Jason Knight and Krystian Bielik also on the sidelines though with Kazim-Richards as long-term absentees and a considerable number of departures in recent months, the East Midlands side’s squad still looks paper-thin and they will need to add a few more players to their squad if they want to maintain their decent start to the season.
The Championship club’s start to the campaign, losing just one out of their opening five games, has been much-welcomed by Derby fans but Wayne Rooney’s latest comments on potential transfers will go a long way in dampening the mood.
He said to Derbyshire Live: “The transfer deadline is coming up. From my point of view I have had no indication we will be able to do anything, bring any players in, which is disappointing, frustrating.
“So I will have to keep working with the lads, keep trying to get some of these young lads up to a level where they can go out and start games because they will have to start some games this season.
“It is not ideal, but we are relying on these players. They are good players, good young players, fast-tracked a bit in terms of their development into the first team and on the bench.
“We have to keep working and keep trying to improve them.”
This is bad news for Derby County. They have impressed many with their bravery this season but injuries and suspensions are always likely to creep in throughout a 46-league game season and ideally, Rooney needed some of his earlier trialists from the summer to sign on and provide that adequate depth.
But with previous trainees Tom Carroll and Sone Aluko going to Ipswich Town and the club inevitably losing out on targets from the start of the window due to their embargo, it’s been a tough time for the Rams who would ideally want to keep their head above water this season and have a re-think next year when their ownership and financial situation becomes clearer.
For now though, this is about survival mode. If you can get the likes of Ravel Morrison and Tom Lawrence firing, there’s every chance they can retain their league status for another year, but their injury record and the business they can do before the end of the window will determine how far they can climb up the table.
They will be hoping to squeeze every ounce of experience out of the likes of Richard Stearman, Phil Jagielka and Curtis Davies to keep them in the Championship – and with some of the younger players including Jack Stretton coming in from their academy to provide competition – this combination of youth and experience could potentially pay dividends for them.
But a few signings are definitely needed – and the clock is ticking.