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Interim Derby County boss Liam Rosenior should look to re-sign these former Rams players as he bids to build a side he hopes can seal promotion from League One on a tight budget.
Rosenior has so far welcomed 11 players to Pride Park this summer with Conor Hourihane, James Chester and David McGoldrick among the headline captures. Derby have also had to box smart in the market due to the business plan the club agreed with the Football League.
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The Rams are not allowed to pay any fees to sign players as part of Clowes Developments’ takeover this month. But Rosenior has managed to add a host of experience to the young talents already in Derbyshire ahead of raising the third-tier curtain against Oxford United.
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Derby start their first season in the third-tier since 1985/86 at Pride Park on July 30 against Oxford United. Rosenior will hope he can oversee a positive start after taking over the hot seat from Wayne Rooney, following the England icon resigning and linking with DC United.
The Rams also remain in the market for further reinforcements before welcoming the U’s to Derbyshire later this month. So, with that in mind, what former Derby players could the Pride Park hierarchy look to re-sign with Rosenior as they eye late freebies and loan deals?
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Derby should look to re-sign former player Frank Fielding of Stoke City
One former player whom Derby should look to re-sign is Frank Fielding of Stoke City to give Rosenior extra experience in goal. The 34-year-old played 80 games for the Rams between 2010 and 2013 for 22 clean sheets, and he is far from the first-choice at the Potters today.
Fielding joined Stoke in a free transfer last December to aid the Potters’ injury crisis after leaving Millwall in the summer. Yet the Blackburn-born shot-stopper did not make a single outing for the club, and ended the term with a short-term loan to League Two Salford City.
Now, Fielding is fighting Joe Bursik, Jack Bonham and youth prospect Blondy Nna Noukeu for minutes at Stoke. The Scottish Sun also report the Potters want to sign Zander Clark as a free agent after leaving St Johnstone. So, Fielding could be available for Derby to re-sign.
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Rosenior should try to re-sign former Derby player George Evans of Millwall
Rosenior should also try to re-sign another former Derby player in George Evans with the midfielder only a rotational option at Millwall. He made 23 appearances with the Lions in the Championship last season, but only started 12 games and did not feature after March.
The 27-year-old spent the final eight games of the campaign as an unused substitute and is now in the final year of his contract. His situation at the Den could see Evans now consider a return to Pride Park 18 months after leaving for south east London after 42 appearances.
Derby signed Evans from Reading in 2018 but the former England U19 international would struggle to excel at Championship level. So, the step down to League One may afford him a greater presence on the pitch and provide Rosenior with a versatile central body to utilise.
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Former Derby player Morgan Whittaker in talks with League One sides over loan
Derby should throw their hat into the ring to re-sign former player Morgan Whittaker on loan, with the Swansea City star in talks with multiple League One teams, per Wales Online. But Rosenior must move fast as Plymouth Argyle are set for a deal given their style of play.
Swans boss Russell Martin has allowed Whittaker to secure a season-long loan as the right-forward failed to cement a role in his squad last term. The 21-year-old also spent the latter half of last season on loan with Lincoln City, offering five goals over 20 League One games.
Rosenior would surely welcome Whittaker’s creativity in the third-tier at Pride Park, where the Derby-born dynamo rose out of the academy ranks for 32 first-team games. He only hit one goal in the Championship, though, before moving to south Wales in 2021 for £700k.
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Rosenior should explore Pride Park return for Kieron Freeman of Portsmouth
Rosenior should also explore a possible Pride Park return for Portsmouth right-back Kieron Freeman. The 30-year-old returned to Fratton Park last summer from Swansea, following a previous loan on the south coast from Sheffield United after arriving from Derby in 2015.
Freeman embarked on several loan deals through his time with the Rams from 2012 to ‘15, as well. They held the one-cap Wales international to only 27 appearances with the club in all competitions, too, of which he made 19 through the 2012/13 Championship campaign.
Rosenior could now get more out of Freeman than he previously managed at Derby after a solid season at Pompey. The defender offered three assists over 25 games, and also spent nine League One matches unused, before suffering season-ending ankle ligament damage.
Now, Freeman is in talks to leave Portsmouth, with The News reporting interest in the full-back from Burton Albion, Hull City, Mansfield, Swindon Town and Tranmere Rovers already this summer. But it is noted that Pompey boss Danny Cowley expects a fee to sell Freeman.
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images
Derby should explore new loan for Manchester United gem Teden Mengi
Derby should also explore a new loan move for Manchester United gem Teden Mengi with Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag open to the centre-half’s temporary exit, per the Manchester Evening News. He is one of several players the Dutchman is unlikely to rely on next season.
Mengi is still awaiting his senior breakthrough at Old Trafford following his debut two first-team games totalling 35 minutes. The 20-year-old also spent the latter half of the 2020/21 season at Pride Park, and the second half of last term with Birmingham City in loan moves.
He only amassed nine outings in the Championship with the Rams and made a further nine with the Blues. So, Mengi could be another former Derby player who would benefit from a step down to League One to secure regular senior minutes during the upcoming campaign.
The post Teden Mengi among 5 former Derby County players Liam Rosenior should try to re-sign appeared first on Ladunblog.
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