Derby County’s summer window plans will heavily depend on whether they’re successful in their promotion bid or not.
Derby County occupy 5th place as it stands, with this weekend’s clash with Peterborough United potentially a huge one in their play-off fight. Said scrap for promotion will be Paul Warne and co’s priority of course, but one eye will be on who will stay and go this summer.
Some decisions will be easier than others and some players may have already pulled on a Derby County shirt for the last time. Here, we look at three who may have already played their last game for the club…
Veteran ‘keeper Loach was added to Derby County’s ranks as part of their makeover last summer, providing an experienced option as cover and competition in between the sticks. Since signing that one-year deal, Loach has played only three times, with all of those outings coming in the EFL Trophy.
It seems unlikely that Loach will see his Pride Park stay extended, opening the door for a new ‘keeper to arrive this summer.
Stearman is another experienced player who has mainly played a supporting role since signing. He joined in the summer of 2021 and was kept on for this season, offering cover at the back. He’s played 16 times across all competitions but is down the pecking order now, with his last inclusion in a League One matchday squad coming in January.
It seems highly likely that he’ll head for the exit door when his deal expires and he might have played his last game for the club.
Last but not least is Poland international Bielik, who has been out on loan with Birmingham City this season. He’s still got a year left on his Derby County contract and if he isn’t moved on in the summer, he’d be a crucial player for Warne to have.
However, he’s a cut above League One level and if the Rams fail in their promotion bid, they may well cash in on the former Arsenal man to bring in some funds, also removing the risk of losing him for nothing in 2024.