Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-finalists Derby County have today revealed their retained list. Three first-team players have been told they won’t be offered extensions and therefore are to leave Pride Park. Sam Winnall and Kasey Palmer return to Sheffield Wednesday and Chelsea respectively after their loans ended.
Five players spent time away from the Rams last season on temporary stints. Chris Martin, Craig Bryson and Jacob Butterfield all stayed in the Championship with different clubs, but they return. The same applies to forgotten man Nick Blackman, and younger duo Max Lowe and Mason Bennett. Derby are very much planning for next season.
The most notable name to depart is that of versatile performer Chris Baird. The 36-year-old played over 70 times for the club after signing in 2015. He made a total of 23 appearances last season, enjoying a run as a starter at one stage. It perhaps isn’t so much of a shock at his age that he is free to leave however.
The other two to depart are players that ended the campaign away from the club. Central defender Jason Shackell spent time at Millwall, who missed out on a play-off place that Derby claimed. Shackell has also been a Ram since 2015, forming a great partnership alongside Richard Keogh at centre back. His last Derby appearance was in September in an EFL Cup defeat at Barnsley.
Finally, Darren Bent is now a free agent after his contract ended. He too has been with the club since 2015, but the 34-year-old is seeking a fresh challenge. He ended the year out at Burton Albion, who were relegated on the final day. He last played in the Derby first-team in May 2017, in an away draw at Rotherham United.