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Paul Warne’s strongest Derby County XI following recent moves, with James Collins omitted



Paul Warne’s Derby County starting XI may look a little different once they kick off their Championship campaign on August 9th.

The 2024/25 Championship campaign is fast approaching with Paul Warne looking to strengthen his Derby squad.


There has been a huge overhaul following their League One promotion, including the departures of six first-team players and the arrival of four.

Whilst Conor Hourihane, Martyn Waghorn, Korey Smith, Joe Wildsmith, Scott Loach and Dwight Gayle have all left Pride Park, Ben Osborn, Jerry Yates, Kayden Jackson and Kenzo Goudmijn have all been announced as new signings.

A clear focus in recruitment so far has been in midfield and attack, although the Rams still need a new number one following the departure of Wildsmiith and that could be Mathew Ryan, who has been heavily linked after declining a new contract at AZ Alkmaar.

For now, we take a look at the strongest starting XI the Derby boss can name…

Derby County’s current strongest starting XI

Warne predominantly switched between a 4-3-3 system and 3-4-1-2 last term. He’s previously spoken about how he likes to change formation depending on the opposition. For the sake of this piece, we’ll go with 4-3-3, starting in goal.

Although Ryan could be an imminent arrival, Wildsmith and Loach leaving Derbyshire means Josh Vickers takes his place between the sticks. The 28-year-old played as a second choice last term and in the Championship, that is unlikely to change.


A four-man defence speaks for itself at this current stage. Ryan Nyambe just signed a new three-year contract, keeping him at Pride Park till 2027, so he takes the spot at right-back ahead of Kane Wilson and Joe Ward.

In the middle, Eiran Cashin and Curtis Nelson had inarguably the best defensive partnership in League One last term as they kept the most clean sheets and conceded the fewest number of goals (37).


Following the departure of Louie Sibley and no sign of a new arrival, Callum Elder gets the nod over veteran Craig Forsyth at left-back.






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