“Might be expensive” – Derby County sent clear transfer message ahead of Championship return


  •  Derby County needs strategic summer signings for solid Championship performance after promotion under Warne’s leadership.
  •  Financial backing crucial for recruiting players in the 24-28 age bracket, aiming for immediate impact on the team.
  •  Strategic recruitment plan necessary to balance investment and potential profits from player development in the long term.


This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Terrace Talk‘ series, which provides personal opinions from our FLW Fan Pundits regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Derby County are planning for life back in the Championship after securing promotion on the final day of the season last month.

Paul Warne has done a fantastic job at Pride Park, even if there have been some tough times since his appointment.

Given the size of the club, there was always going to be pressure on the Rams to win promotion, so Warne’s know-how in the third tier was vital.


League One standings 2023/24
Team P GD Pts
1 Portsmouth (C) 46 37 97
2 Derby County (P) 46 41 92
3 Bolton Wanderers 46 35 87
4 Peterborough United 46 28 84
5 Oxford United 46 23 77
6 Barnsley 46 18 76


The ex-Rotherham chief built a team that had a good mix of youth and experience, and Warne will no doubt value the older heads in the group that helped the team over the line.

Derby County’s summer transfer plans

Now, though, it’s about bringing in players that can help Derby establish themselves back in the second tier, whilst Ipswich Town have shown that aiming for a double promotion is a possibility, even if it shouldn’t be expected.

To be competitive in the Championship, it’s clear that the Rams will need some new arrivals, and it will be interesting to see what sort of approach they have in the market.

Paul Warne

As outlined above, generally Warne favoured a tried and trusted method in League One, with several new recruits over the age of 30 coming in to compliment the academy graduates.

And, speaking to FLW, Derby fan pundit Shaun explained why it’s so important that the club strike the right balance with who they bring in, as he urged them to get players who are at their peak, ensuring they can make an instant impact on the team.

We need to start recruiting players of a good age. We’ve got some good youngsters, and some good older heads at the club, but we really need players in the 24-28 bracket. The ones that will come in and hit the ground running. They’ll already have some experience under their belt, but they’re not too old that they’re always breaking down with injuries, which we’ve had a lot of this year.

Those players in that prime age, they might be expensive and tough to get, but that’s what we need to be looking for if we want to progress and become a solid Championship side again, and then try to get promoted.”


Paul Warne will need financial backing this summer

As Shaun mentions, bringing in players within that age bracket is generally going to be more expensive, and it remains to be seen what sort of money is available for Warne this summer.

We all know the difficulties the Rams had over the years, and they are certainly not going to be in a position where they spend recklessly over the next few months.

Of course, they will still need to invest to compete, and you would expect that the recruitment team are already in talks about what they can do, and they will be drawing up a list of potential targets.

Copy of FLW 169 IMAGE  (1)-15

In the long-term, like most clubs in the Football League, Derby will want to develop players and sell for big profits down the line, so that should mean you generally target younger players.

So, it’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. Derby’s main goal since they were saved was to get back to the Championship, and now that’s happened, they need to stabilise and kick-on, and they need to get things right to ensure they can do just that.




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