Three Players Derby County Should Keep Hold Of If They Get Promoted To The Premier League
Derby, after a slower than ideal start, really got their act together mid-season and have got themselves into contention for second place and automatic promotion to the Premier League.
With the squad finally knuckling down and Matej Vydra doing what he always threatened to do, the Rams seem unstoppable and look nailed-on to go on to a second-place finish.
Should they fail to go up, they may well look at the equally uninspiring starts made by Aston Villa and Fulham and realise they hugely missed a chance to gain many points before the winter. They may yet go up though, and if they do, they will need to strengthen hugely.
What they must not forget is that they have to keep their best players and so as it stands, losing these three would be very disheartening indeed:
I get the impression that after two excellent seasons in this league for Ipswich and Derby (initially on loan), Leicester City may end up regretting letting Tom Lawrence go for just £4.95million in the winter and he could come back to haunt them.
Lawrence is once again, statistically, among the top three or four players at his club and at least deserves the chance to play Premier League football to see how he gets on.
I was his biggest critic last season but I always admired his confidence. Vydra complained time and again that he needed to play centrally behind the striker if the club want to see him at his best but when given the chance he simply didn’t produce the goods.
This season, however, the penny has dropped and with 17 goals in 29 league games, the Czech arguably produces more than anybody else in this team to help get the side up.
Defensive midfielders are never regarded as that valuable, yet coaches always want the best ones around as they know the influence that these central midfielders can have on a game.
Thorne goes under the radar in terms of Premier League watchers but the former West Brom man is solid and at 25, he is not even at his best yet.
More improvement is expected over the next few years and letting go of Thorne would be a huge mistake by Gary Rowett. I’m certain Gary will want to retain the former Watford loanee next campaign.