Squad Analysis. Squad Reduction.
Squad numbers have finally been released on the eve of the season. Was it just me that thought that this took ages to come out?
Anyway, Christ we’ve got a big squad. 35 players big in fact. And we have to be shipping some out in the next week (permanent) or by the end of August (loan).
The likelihood is that players will depart on loan. Not many clubs will be willing to take on the salaries that we are currently paying and players will almost certainly not want to be taking a cut in wage. This leaves us with loan deals and the probability that Derby will be paying a percentage of the wage.
Below, I’ve listed the squad and who I think should hang around and who should depart.
1. Scott CARSON
One of the best in the division.
2. Andre WISDOM
The best right back we have.
3. Craig FORSYTH
Just about keep. Should be backup to Max Lowe who has excelled in pre-season. Lack of cover would suggest that he hangs around unless a loan can be brought in. Or Joe Bryan.
4. Craig BRYSON
Has featured heavily in pre-season and should be starting against Reading. That report of him leaving was weird wasn’t it? Nothing ever got said after.
6. Richard KEOGH
Forged an excellent partnership with Curtis Davies last season. Still a good defender at this level. Nice chap too. We need those.
7. Harry WILSON
Send him back to Liverpool. Lol. Joke.
Really excited to see him this season. Was excellent for Hull last term and will be really good in our attacking three.
8. Mason MOUNT
A gem. We could have a real star playing for us this season and it’s going to be great to see him develop. Still really surprised that we’ve managed to sign him but watch and enjoy.
10. Tom LAWRENCE
Has looked good in pre-season. Hopefully the influence of Lampard, his team and actually being allowed to play football this year will see him flourish. Clearly a very talented player. He could be an absolute star this season.
11. Florian JOZEFZOON
A really good option to have. I think he’ll be a really useful option over the 46 games.
14. Jack MARRIOTT
Interesting to see how he fares this season. Likelihood is that David Nugent will start against Reading and lead the line but will certainly feature heavily throughout the season. His task at the minute is to settle and displace Nugent.
15. Bradley JOHNSON
I’m struggling to see where he gets minutes this season. And we’re overloaded in midfield. Would somebody take him on loan? Of the midfielders I’d want rid of, he’d be the last on the list, if that counts for anything, Bradley…!
16. Alex PEARCE
Keep. Excellent to have around the dressing room. Knows that he’s third choice behind Keogh and Davies but doesn’t kick up a fuss. A really good character.
17. George EVANS
An interesting signing given the amount of players who can play centrally. Would suggest that there are few who are close to leaving.
18. Jacob BUTTERFIELD
Likely to be gone. Hasn’t featured much in pre-season. Was booed against Notts County (dead weird that). His wife blocked me on Twitter for saying he had shit clobber. He did.
19. Chris MARTIN
Hasn’t featured at all due to fitness issues. Best for all parties that he moves on. Hopefully to QPR under Schteve before their embargo kicks in. A good player a few years back but his style doesn’t appear to fit.
20. Mason BENNETT
Keep. Always seems to be really effective in pre-season. Remember a few years back under Clough where he scored and on the footage shown by the club you could hear Nigel and (presumably) Andy Garner moaning about what he was doing, only to go through and score. Funny that.
Anyway, if he can stay fit, he could be a good threat from the bench and he does have a habit of scoring. I like him. He should be kept around. And that goal he scored against Southampton was a real poachers goal. Michael Owen made a career on them. Essentially, he’s better than Michael Owen.
21. Kelle ROOS
It’s either a loan for him or Jonathan Mitchell. Not too fussed which.
22. Nick BLACKMAN
Really nice chap. Not a very good footballer. Hasn’t featured. Surely off out on loan.
23. Matej VYDRA
It’s weird isn’t it? Mooted to go long before the seasons close and yet he’s still kicking about Moor Farm. Had a groin op which has ruled him out of pre-season. Surely a Premier League club will get desperate towards the end of the window and snap him up.
A move would be good for all concerned. Which is weird to say given that he scored a shit load of goals last season but this team won’t be built around him like the last.
25. Max LOWE
Better than Marcelo.
26. Jamie HANSON
Utility man and given a new deal last season (weird). Maybe worth keeping around but not too fussed if he goes out again. Possibly a backup to Wisdom?
28. David NUGENT
Lampard loves him and he seems a laugh so keep him around. Seriously though, his legs have gone a bit but he works hard and starts the press for the team, which will be important throughout the season. Can’t stick 90 any more but still competent at this level.
29. Marcus OLSSON
Out for the season. Not much we can do.
30. Ikechi ANYA
Lost his squad number. Hasn’t featured. Likely to leave and it’s probably best for all that he does. £4million. Christ.
32. Cameron JEROME
To leave should cash become available (Matej) and another striker comes in. Hasn’t featured all that much.
33. Curtis DAVIES
Better than Baresi.
34. George THORNE
Surely on his way out. Huddlestone, Ledley and now Evans are all ahead of him. Sad but inevitable. His attitude has rightly been questioned over the last year or so. Talented but he hasn’t done it in ages now.
35. Jonathan MITCHELL
See Kelle Roos
36. Joe LEDLEY
Excellent pro. A bit of an unsung hero. I’d want him around this team,
37. Jayden BOGLE
Is he ready to be a backup in the Championship? I’m not too sure. If Hanson leaves then keep. If he stays then keep him around and use when needed.
38. Luke THOMAS
Perhaps a touch controversial here but I’d be half tempted to loan him out. Clearly talented but I wonder whether six months elsewhere and getting minutes will be more beneficial to him at this point?
39. Calum MACDONALD
40. Louie SIBLEY
42. Timi ELSNIK
Loan. We all kind of thought that this would be his year to break through after his impressive loan out at Swindon but given the options that we have, he just won’t get the minutes.
44. Tom HUDDLESTONE
Will absolutely thrive at the base of this midfield. I’d love nothing more to see Tom get us promoted. A brilliant footballer with an excellent brain. Can’t wait to see him pulling the strings with legs around him this season.
So, at the end of that, I’m saying goodbye to Jacob Butterfield, Chris Martin, Nick Blackman, Matej Vydra, Ikechi Anya, Cameron Jerome, George Thorne, Calum McDonald, Louie Sibley, Timi Elsnik, one of Kelle Roos or Jonathan Mitchell, possibly Bradley Johnson, one of Jayden Bogle or Jamie Hanson and possibly Luke Thomas.
That would leave us with a squad of around 23 (not including the inevitable few players that come in). I think that sounds alright, although that’d be in an ideal world and frankly, with the wages that Derby have paid, we won’t be seeing the above come the end of the window.