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Wayne Rooney sends clear message to Derby County players

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Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has challenged his players to change his mind on their futures at Pride Park in their remaining two league games of the campaign, speaking to Derbyshire Live.

The 36-year-0ld is facing a big rebuild in the East Midlands in the summer after already losing some of his most valuable assets prior to the end of this term, with Graeme Shinnie and Phil Jagielka both exiting the club during the winter window.

Although it has been revealed that most of his players want to remain at the club despite their drop to League One, Rooney may see some of those plying their trade elsewhere once the season ends as he looks to recruit those who will provide value for money.

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Although some players are almost guaranteed to be offered new contracts when a takeover is finally complete, including captain Tom Lawrence who could be a real game-changer in the third tier, others could be looking for new clubs with the Manchester United legend planning ahead for the 2022/23 campaign.

With just two league games remaining until the season ends, with the Rams travelling to Blackpool this weekend before returning to the Midlands to host Cardiff City, time is running out for those who want to show they deserve to be offered fresh terms before their respective deals expire in the summer.

However, Rooney still believes it’s an important period for those in that category to shine – and also sent a clear message to his younger players as he spoke to Derbyshire Live.

He said: “I am in the middle of making decisions on players, so I think it is only right I give players opportunity to play, whether that is to change my mind or to convince me they are ready to play and step up next season.

“These are decisions I have to make and it is an opportunity to do that, but also some players have been right on the edge of coming in and playing but I haven’t been able to do that.

“So it is an opportunity for them to come in and play.”

The Verdict:

Rooney may have to lean on some of his younger players to make an impact once again next term regardless of a potential takeover – because they will probably need to follow a reasonably strict business plan.

Finances also mean he desperately needs to get value for money on players if he wants to secure promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking, so he will need to be ruthless with some of those out of contract in the summer.

Richard Stearman could be one of those who isn’t offered a new deal, which would be incredibly harsh on the experienced central defender considering how loyal he has been to the cause this season and has probably been a great influence on an inexperienced squad.

With Eiran Cashin coming through though and the club already having an experienced central defender in Curtis Davies who has played much more regularly than Stearman, Rooney may want to target younger alternatives.

The Rams’ manager’s comments also provide real motivation for the players to go out and perform to their maximum in these last couple of games despite having nothing to play for, potentially giving them that extra 10% needed to go and claim a victory at Bloomfield Road today.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Wayne Rooney sends clear message to Derby County players

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