Written by: Cory Hancock Rams Review Podcast (https://ramsreviewpodcast.wixsite.com/home/podcast)
Expectations for the season ahead
This season will be interesting for The Rams. The club has been in and around the playoff and chasing promotion for the past several years and it looks like last season it all finally caught up with them. Its difficult to know what to expect from this side. The club needs players but the club also is under a transfer embargo. So it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Right now, I’m expecting a season of struggle (much like last year). This club needs a reset from ownership, to front office to playing staff and we are finally starting to see the shoots of that this close season. It will be painful. But it’s needed. I always believe Derby can challenge for the playoffs in the season but that’s not what I’m expecting this season.
Jason Knight (above). The 20 year old Irish international has an incredible work rate and engine and is developing into a solid box to box midfielder. He didn’t necessarily hit the heights he did in 2019/20 but that can be said for all of Derby’s young player’s last season. In addition to Knights energy he also has an eye from goal and has scored 8 goals in two season for The Rams. He’s developing nicely and if he’s kept in a central midfield role next season, I’d anticipate Knight to have yet another solid season.
Graeme Shinnie. Last season’s play of the year, Shinnie was fantastic for The Rams in 2020/21. His work rate and drive are second to none and he even chipped in with a few goals. He had a slow start to his Derby career in 2019/20 but slowly came into the team and has gone from strength to strength since.
What transfers are needed?
Where don’t Derby need to strengthen? Currently, there are no contracted senior centre-backs and only 13 players returned to preseason with Derby (two of those were goalkeepers and one was Krystian Bielik who is recovering from ACL surgery). Derby need players. At least four centre-backs need to come in, one or two creative midfield players are needed as are one or two wide players as well. Additionally, Derby need a couple more forwards who can take the load off Colin Kazim-Richards (below), who played well last year and finished as the top scored but at 34 years old, it would be unfair to ask him to lead the line all season for The Rams.
Right now, Derby look to be favourites for relegation. They are in a worse position now (July 13) then they were at the end of last season and that team was dire. But with the right signings and a return to form for many of the players, I could see a lower mid-table finish. Right now, I’d snap your hand off for fourth bottom!
West Brom, Fulham, Swansea
Huddersfield, Hull, Luton
By Cory Hancock, co-host of the Rams Review Podcast Twitter: @ramsreview1
Facebook/Instagram: @ramsreviewpod Podcast is available on all major podcasting platforms!