Five players Derby County would do well to sign this summer if they can

Five players Derby County would do well to sign this summer if they can

Pride Park, home of Derby County (Credit- Richard Croft, Geograph)
Pride Park, home of Derby County. Photo: Richard Croft / Geograph ( courtesy of

As the weeks pass by, more and more clubs are announcing their retained lists – revealing who is staying and who is being released from every squad respectively.

Derby County has waved goodbye to just three first-team players so far, with James Chester, Richard Stearman and Curtis Davies out of contract this summer.

With the Rams missing out on the play-offs by just one point, who is available for free that could help bridge that gap towards promotion?

1) Richard Wood

With three centre-backs leaving the club and versatile defender Haydon Roberts returning to Brighton and Hove Albion, the need for defensive reinforcements is paramount.

Former Rotherham United captain Richard Wood has been confirmed to be leaving the Millers after seven years at the club. The ex-Coventry and Charlton man would provide bundles of experience to this Derby side packed with exciting young talent.


While at Rotherham, under current Rams boss Paul Warne, Wood achieved three League One promotions, even scoring a brace at Wembley in the 2017-18 play-off final.

With this experience of promotion and previous contact with gaffer Warne, this could be one way to elevate the Rams’ back line.

2) Nick Powell

David McGoldrick’s form across the course of the season helped fire Derby up the table – but more attacking options would be beneficial for Warne’s side. He will look for more goals to come from elsewhere in the team.

Former Manchester United man Nick Powell is available, having been released from Stoke City earlier in the month.

It must be said that last season was not the midfielder’s finest, scoring just four goals in 25 appearances. But with just nine starts in that time, is his output that bad?

He undoubtedly has quality and a knack for scoring goals from midfield, in a similar vein to Conor Hourihane. 22 goals in 61 starts across three seasons in the Championship for a faltering Stoke side.

A drop to League One for the 29-year-old could see his numbers boom and fire Derby up the league.

3) Sam Clucas

Another Stoke man, Sam Clucas, has been released by the Potters – five years after being signed for six million pounds from Swansea City.

He is cut from a similar cloth to Korey Smith, who has been an invaluable and versatile player for the Rams this season. Clucas being able to play across the midfield in different positions could prove to be a useful tool for Warne and Derby.

Injuries have hampered the 32-year-old’s time at Stoke – making just five starts this season – but, if he can get fit, he would be an asset to the squad at Pride Park.

4) Ronan Curtis

Another attacking option for the Rams is Ronan Curtis who may potentially leave Portsmouth after a hugely positive five years as an individual.

The winger is an ever-present and consistent force for Pompey as they pushed towards promotion out of League One. Back-to-back seasons consisting of 15-plus goal involvements just show the quality the Irishman possesses. An update is awaited on his future at Portsmouth.

With Tom Barkhuizen not ripping up any trees this season and Lewis Dobbin returning to Everton, could Curtis be an option?

5. Phil Jagielka

The final name on this list is a former Ram, Phil Jagielka, and yes, another player who has been released by Stoke.

The 40-year-old provides untold amounts of experience and having already made over 20 appearances for Derby, this signing would make sense.

Eiran Cashin had an outstanding campaign and, with the addition of a player like Jagielka alongside him, it could add to his game.

The former Everton and Sheffield United man would add to the dressing room and even if he couldn’t contribute as much on the pitch, off the pitch he may be invaluable to Warne’s men.