Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has spoken out on rumoured interest in some of his key players, in a recent interview (quotes sourced from Derbyshire Live).
What’s the story?
Derby County haven’t had the best preparation for the upcoming Championship campaign, with the Rams having a number of players on trial with the club this summer during pre-season.
But they’ve been unable to sign any of those players up until now, with the club being under a transfer embargo. However, the eFL have since made exceptional circumstances for Wayne Rooney’s side, as they’re considerably light on options at this moment in time.
That lack of squad depth hasn’t stopped some of Rooney’s key players being linked with summer departures though, with Lee Buchanan emerging on Nottingham Forest’s radar, whilst Nathan Byrne is reportedly being targeted by Celtic.
Can you see Byrne and Buchanan staying?
‘The two most important players’
Rooney has since poured cold water on any rumours of Byrne or Buchanan heading for the exit door anytime soon though, with the Derby boss revealing that they’re the two most important players in his team with the style he’s trying to implement.
“None of my players are going anywhere. Obviously, we haven’t got enough players as it is.
“The way we are trying to play, they are the two most important players on the pitch, so none of my players will be leaving the club this transfer window unless it is to benefit them, whether it is a loan, but that can only happen if we are allowed to bring players in.”
Byrne caught the eye with some strong displays for Derby in the 2020/21 season, in what was his first year with the club, having arrived from Wigan Athletic in September 2020.
The full-back had an average Whoscored rating of 6.81, which put him fifth in the list of Derby County’s best performers from a forgetful campaign last term.
Whilst Buchanan has been with Derby since 2010, and the club’s supporters will have been eager to see him stick around for the foreseeable future, and to not even entertain any interest from rivals Nottingham Forest anytime soon.
At the age of 20, he’s likely to still have his best years ahead of him, especially if the early stages of his development in senior football are anything to go by recently.
It’s been a worrying summer for Derby’s supporters, as they’ve seen their side struggle for numbers heading into matches, let alone having to even think about the quality of the players involved.
So, to hear that Rooney is looking to keep both Byrne and Buchanan this summer will be pleasing to hear for the Pride Park faithful, especially if they’ve got any ambitions of avoiding relegation into the third-tier of English football this term.