With the managerial situation yet to be fully resolved as I write this, I felt I'd touch on another subject of discussion at Pride Park.
And that is the forgotten men of the Derby squad, or the 'bomb squad” as a local radio pundit calls them.
George Thorne, Jacob Butterfield, Chris Martin and Ikechi Anya haven’t played a match for a good long time and it looks like their Derby careers may be over. It certainly seems that Butterfield is done given the last couple of seasons have seen him loaned out to Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford City.
Thorne has been plagued by injuries and failed to make an impression at Luton during his loan spell. It’s a shame that a once promising looking career could see him dropping into the lower divisions permanently.
Ikechi Anya has stayed around the club and made the odd appearance for the Under-23 side, but a Scotland international needs to be playing first team football and it would be in the interests of both club and player that he perhaps finds a new employer.
Chris Martin is the only one of the trio who could have a way back, however slim the chance is. He’s become the forgotten man of the club. From the 2012/13 season to 2015/16 he scored 25, 21 and 14 goals respectively. He was hot property, so much so that Fulham are believed to have paid a hefty loan fee for him in 2016/17 and were planning on making the move permanent. That was until Steve McClaren began his second spell with the club and attempted to bring him back early from the loan.
What happened next is now ancient history as Fulham resisted and he did actually have a fair season for them. Since then though he has be loaned out to Reading and Hull and the goals have dried up, hence his stock plummeting.
Martin plays in the 4-3-3 formation if you want the best out of him and he is excellent at holding the ball up, but has the Derby ship sailed? An incoming gaffer will want to assess the players on the book and maybe he could offer something?
A man who for three seasons was the 'star of Pride Park” is now reduced to one looking for a game. His wages won’t be cheap, but we may have a situation where he doesn’t want to move for a massively reduced salary. What do we do? He has another year left on his contract so do we loan him out, give him away or see if we can get him going again?
This player will not want to kick around with the Under-23 side. It’ll be interesting to see what occurs.
One of our players who was sent out on loan this season is in demand. Max Lowe is wanted again by Aberdeen and apparently there are other clubs interested too. If he’s not in the new manager's plans we may get a few quid for the lad.
As we can see there’s more work to do than simply signing new faces. Who’d be a football manager, eh?