Derby County are going through a frustrating pre-season ahead of the new Championship campaign.
The Rams, who are struggling with player availability, have already lost their first two friendlies, including a 2-1 loss against Wayne Rooney’s former club Manchester United.
The situation got even worse ahead of their next pre-season match against Real Betis after Jason Knight’s injury. And the manner in which Derby’s key player sustained injury will only add to the frustration.
Derby have only nine senior players registered with the club, which forced Rooney to join in the training to make up the numbers.
Unfortunately, the gaffer’s 50-50 challenge with Knight left the Republic of Ireland international with an ankle injury. The 20-year-old, who was a constant feature in the Championship for Derby last season, could now be sidelined for up to three months.
Derby are without a recognised centre-half, and are linked with United youngster Teden Mengi, who spent second half of the last season at Pride Park and also faced Rooney’s side in their first pre-season friendly. But uncertainity remains in the transfer window as they are under an EFL transfer embargo.
It’s fair to say that the Premier League legend is in desperate need of some kind of relief before Derby’s opening Championship encounter with Huddersfield Town on August 7.