Paul Warne could bring back Derby County favourite in new role to aid survival battle

After two years in League One, the Rams are now preparing for a return to Championship football.

A second place finish was enough to secure automatic promotion back to the second tier, sparking scenes of celebration at Pride Park after the final day victory over Carlisle United that confirmed that success.

Not only is that success crucial given the opportunities that being in the Championship provides, but it is also a remarkable reflection of how far they have come in such a short space of time.

Mendez-Laing and James Collins Derby County

When they suffered relegation from the Championship just two years ago, the Rams were battling for their very survival as a football club, amid a raft of financial issues that had seen them plunged into administration.

There were though, figures who emerged from that as key individuals around the club, and there is an argument that Derby County ought to now be considering bringing one of those back as they prepare to return to the Championship in the form of Curtis Davies.

Curtis Davies may be looking to make his next career move

With the Rams now looking ahead to a campaign in the second tier next season, they are going to have to strengthen over the coming months.

That of course, includes within the playing squad, but there may also be roles within manager Paul Warne’s backroom team that could be added to, as they look to ensure they do not quickly drop back into the third-tier.

Curtis Davies with Frank Lampard vs. Reading Aug 18

If that is the case, then Curtis Davies is one candidate who would surely be worth considering for the Pride Park club.

The centre-back has just left Cheltenham Town following the expiration of his contract with the club, in the wake of their relegation from League One.

At 38 years of age, Davies could now be coming to the end of his playing career, and if he is to take the step into a behind the scenes role, then Derby should surely be ready to offer him one.

As it has already been alluded to, Davies is no stranger to Pride Park, having spent six years as part of the Rams’ playing squad between 2017 and 2023.

During that time, he made 175 appearances in all competitions for the club, and was of course there during that immensely challenging period both on and off the pitch.

Throughout that period though, the defender became an immensely popular figure around Pride Park, who exemplified what any club would want from a player.

curtis davies

He showed his commitment to Derby County when signing a waiver to play through an injury on the final day of the 2020/21 campaign to help the club avoid relegation from the Championship.

When they were relegated the following season, Davies impressed regardless with his performances on the pitch.

Off it, he also caught the eye and won plenty of praise for the way he took on something of an ambassadorial in representing and guiding an otherwise relatively young squad through such a challenging and uncertain time for those at Pride Park.

Those leadership abilities are something that would surely help to guide this squad through their return to the Championship next season, and set an example for them to follow.

With over 300 Championship appearances on his CV to date, he would certainly be a useful source of all-round insight for the squad to look to, as they make their return to the second-tier.

Curtis Davies career league record – stats from Transfermarkt
Club Appearances Goals Assists
Premier League 173 7 4
Championship 314 19 10
League One 103 2 3
As of 20th May 2024

Indeed, with being so familiar with Derby, he should be well aware of how things work there, allowing him to work effectively even in a new role such as this.

The impact he made the last time he was at Pride Park also ensures his return would go down well with the fanbase.

Meanwhile, given he is potentially just coming to the end of his playing career, and therefore still has that connection with a squad, he could be a useful go-between to have with the players and management.

Considering he left the club when they were still in League One, after spending so long with them in the Championship, a spell that came to an end in such challenging circumstances, it could be fitting for him to reunite with the club just as they return to that level.

 

With all that in mind, bringing Davies back to Derby County this summer if he is to call time on his playing career, is something Warne must surely be considering to aid his side with the challenge of making that step up a division.

 

 

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