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How Derby Could Line Up Defensively Next Season If They Do End Up Signing 25-year Old Newcastle Star

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Derby County

Derby County

Here’s How Derby Could Line Up Defensively With Grant Hanley At The Back

Derby’s interest in Newcastle United defender Grant Hanley is well known and their transfer activity may pick up the pace over the next few weeks. Manager Gary Rowett has the freedom to pick his own squad this summer, and as a former centre-back himself, he’d exactly know what to expect from his defence.

In the case of Hanley, Rowett seems particularly keen. His record in the Championship is excellent, although he was offered only sporadic starts in the league by Rafael Benitez following his move from Blackburn Rovers. The 25-year-old has plenty to offer at this level and is fully experienced, making 161 appearances so far in England’s second tier.

Hanley looks like a long-term replacement for Richard Keogh, so in signing the Scotsman it could be possible that Rowett is planning to line up his back four like this come August:

Cyrus Christie (Right-Back)

The Coventry-born, Republic of Ireland defender is just 24-years-old and is very much still improving. His attacking play, as well as his defensive abilities, should keep him at the forefront of Gary Rowett’s mind and there’s no reason at this stage why he wouldn’t keep his place as the Rams’ first choice full-back in this side.

Grant Hanley (Centre-Back)

Although he has proven to be relatively comfortable on the left of the centre-back pairing, Hanley would fit in better on the right-hand side and may prove to be a replacement for Keogh. Hanley was handed only 16 games (including cup appearances) by Newcastle last term and will go into the new season incredibly fresh. Hanley has 27 caps for Scotland and will continue to gain experience on the international stage, something which will be seen as important by Rowett.

Alex Pearce (Centre-Back)

The former Reading stopper has been excellent for Derby over the last year or so and looks like a fantastic piece of business for the club. He could sit comfortably next to Hanley in a beastly and intimidating centre-back partnership which could form a great platform for the side to challenge for promotion. The 28-year-old has played 261 times at this level and knows exactly as to what is expected of him.

Marcus Olsson (Left-Back)

I’ve always assumed Olsson would have produced more going forward from left-back than he actually does, and maybe eventually Rowett will look to replace him. The Swede is defensively sound though and having played over 50 times for the club, he is now part of the furniture. Olsson played for 4 years with Grant Hanley at Blackburn Rovers and knows his potential new team mate very well.