We are now well and truly into our pre-season preparations and the team has completed its camp in Florida.
Whilst over there, Kieran Dowell was added to the squad. Dowell comes on a season-long loan deal from Premier League Everton and it’s the third season in a row that he has been allowed to join an EFL team. Two years ago our rivals Nottingham Forest welcomed him and last season he joined Sheffield United in the January, helping them gain promotion.
He’s an attacking midfielder who has an eye for goal. He is probably suited to a number ten role.
Apart from Dowell and Graeme Shinnie there have been no more new arrivals yet. Phillip Cocu will want to stamp his own style on the side and I dare say over the next couple of weeks we may see one or two more players incoming and perhaps a few exiting.
Bradley Johnson has been a departure from Pride Park. He didn’t have a bad season last time out, but overall I don’t think that it’s unfair to say that his time at Derby hasn’t been the success that we hoped for when we made him our then record signing. He joined us after a brilliant season with Norwich. Johnson has joined Blackburn and Jacob Butterfield has also been training with them following his release by the club.
We now have three friendlies ahead of us and it will be good to see how exactly Cocu will set up the side. He has favoured a 4-3-3 formation in his previous jobs and that would suggest to me that Martyn Waghorn and Jack Marriott won’t necessarily start together unless Waghorn is deployed in a wide role.
Curtis Davies making a return will be a plus, but centre-half is a position that I believe we may look to bring someone in at least for cover.
There’s no doubt in my mind that we are in need of a wide man. Harry Wilson was often used on that role last season though in later games he was dropped back into midfield. With Wilson having returned to Liverpool, it’ll be interesting to see who gets that particular job. Perhaps Cocu will look abroad.
There has been much speculation about the goalkeeping position. Scott Carson is still not 100 per cent fit and during the games in Florida it was Kelle Roos and Jonathan Mitchell who saw time between the sticks. Again there is a debate amongst fans as to whether Roos is a candidate worthy of getting the job full time. Christian Walton of Brighton has been linked with us, but I would guess it would take a bid of around £3m to prize him away from the Amex.
We will all watch developments with interest over the next few weeks whilst the new boss assembles his squad and we go again with another attempt to climb into the upper echelons of football.