Derby County will be aiming to banish the memories of what was an extremely underwhelming 2020/21 campaign by making a positive start to the new term in their clash with Huddersfield Town.
Preparations for this particular showdown have been far from ideal for the Rams who are still under a transfer embargo.
Although the EFL has granted the club permission to make moves for out-of-contract players, any potential signing must not exceed a salary cap which has been imposed on Derby.
Furthermore, it is understood that the Rams can only offer 12-month deals to free-agents whilst potential loanees will only be able to join the Championship outfit on a six-month basis.
With Derby owner Mel Morris actively looking to sell the club following two failed takeover deals earlier this year, manager Wayne Rooney may need to work miracles if he is to assemble a squad which is capable of competing at this level.
Whereas the 35-year-old will be looking at drafting in some fresh faces in the coming days, he could be about to face an uphill battle to keep one of Derby’s young stars at the club if recent reports are anything to go by.
According to the Irish Examiner, Newcastle United and Burnley are both currently keeping tabs on midfielder Jason Knight ahead of potential swoops.
The Republic of Ireland international is set to miss the start of the season after suffering a serious ankle injury which was caused by a tackle by Rooney in training last month.
An ever-present for Derby during the previous campaign, Knight made 43 appearances for the club in the Championship as they narrowly avoided relegation to League One.
GIVEMESPORT’s Joshua Cole says…
Whilst the Rams will be able to seal a considerable amount of money for Knight this summer due to the fact that his current contract isn’t set to expire until 2023, they ought to be doing everything they can to keep him at Pride Park.
An extremely talented player, Knight was particularly impressive during the club’s clashes with Millwall and Birmingham City last year as he helped Derby seal victories in both of these fixtures by recording WhoScored match ratings of 7.13 and 7.97.
Providing that the midfielder is able to make a full recovery from his current injury issue, he could go on to play a key role for Derby who will be hoping to achieve a relative amount of success in the Championship this season.
Keeping this in mind, it could be argued that Rooney should be looking to build a team around Knight instead of cashing in on him.
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