Derby County are a side never to stay quiet in the summer transfer window.
Supporters were led to believe that this year would be vastly different. However, it seems that they couldn’t live without expanding their squad; instead they made their fifth signing in preparation for the new season.
This season’s signings, though, have been disparate to their usual transfer business. The biggest difference being that Derby have promoted youth: a rather senior Derby County side needed adolescence and rousing young minds and legs. Frank Lampard has introduced exactly that.
As many would have predicted, Lampard’s first two signings (Mason Mount and Harry Wilson) were young loanees - sent to restore some youth and energy in to an aging side. That was the supposed plan as thought by fans of the club. But then came a somewhat exciting surprise and Dery began spending money… again.
In came Florian Jozefzoon and Jack Marriott. Two more attacking options added to what already seemed like a top-heavy side. And now there is a strong chance they could keep hold of last season’s top goal scorer Matej Vydra? The depth in Derby’s squad is immense for sure but does it come at a price? The wages for these attackers must create some cause for concern. Derby undoubtedly now need to reduce their squad and offload some players before the commencing the new season.
Needless to say, the impact of these two signings must not be underestimated… Neither should the introduction of Derby’s most recent signing, George Evans. A versatile defensive midfielder who has already shown that he is more than capable of filling in in at centre back. Evans will give Tom Huddlestone and Joe Ledley some healthy competition.
For all of Huddlestone and Ledley’s knowledge and experience in the game, their aging status must not be overlooked. Time after time, in the second half of last season, the midfield pair grew tired and lacked energy. Evans, aged just 23, will aim to ensure that this does not happen again.
Moreover, the introduction of Derby’s youth players will feel like an abundance of new signings. Max Lowe, Luke Thomas and Mason Bennett all featured regularly and impressed during the pre-season. They will all be expected to endure a more substantial role at the club in the coming season.
Derby have often fallen foul to their own problems: injuries have consistently played an overwhelming part to their failures in the seasons gone by. The confidence that these young players may gain from more match time may mean that Derby won’t be so heavily reliant on one starting 11.
They will now look forward to half time substitutions and tactical team changes more so than they have ever done before.
It is fair to say that Derby haven’t been this excited about their young talent since the early days of players like Jeff Hendrick and Will Hughes. A lot of credit must go to Lampard and Jody Morris who were keen, from the get go, to show faith in these young, talented individuals.