Derby County should make this player a priority as time runs out on contracts: Opinion

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There are some worrying deadlines approaching for Derby County. 

The Rams may have stayed up by the skin of their teeth on the final day of the 2020/21 Championship season but little that has happened since would suggest they’ll be able to do the same next term.

With the loan signings departing and a significant chunk of the senior squad released, Wayne Rooney’s options are depleted and it is now just 51 days until the start of the new EFL season.

Closer than that still is the start of their pre-season schedule on July 18th but the real concern for the East Midlands club has to be the expiring contracts of the likes of Curtis Davies, Jack Marriott, Martyn Waghorn, and Andre Wisdom.

Those deals run out in less than two weeks’ time and it is understood that the club has not held discussions concerning them in the last three weeks.

If nothing changes by the end of the month then the Rams will be left with just 14 players heading into 2021/22 but though it may not be plausible to keep all four of Davies, Marriott, Waghorn, and Wisdom – the club should make the latter’s deal a priority.

Marriott’s days with the Rams have seemed numbered for a little while now, hence the Sheffield Wednesday move, while Davies is 36 and coming back from a serious injury.

Derby County quiz: One question about every player in the Rams’ first-team – Can you score 100% on this?

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The romantic Derby fan may want to reward Waghorn as it was his brace that kept them up on the final day of the season but that would be putting aside a disappointing season.

Wisdom’s 2020/21 campaign was quite the opposite. Few players came out of last term with a huge amount of credit but the former Liverpool man was one, having impressed after shifting from right-back to the centre.

He may not offer the aerial presence of Matt Clarke but he reads the game really well – as his average of 1 interception, 3.2 clearances, and 0.4 blocks per game illustrate (Whoscored).

On top of that, he offers quality and confidence in possession – having averaged 41.7 passes per game at a success rate of 82.2% last term (Whoscored).

Add to that the fact that as things stand, there will be no centre-backs in the 14-man senior squad left available for Rooney at the end of the month and it is clear to see that keeping Wisdom has to be their top priority.

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