derby county, 3 Ben Osborn alternatives Derby County must eye amid links with ex-Nottingham Forest man

3 Ben Osborn alternatives Derby County must eye amid links with ex-Nottingham Forest man

Derby County have been linked with a surprise move for Ben Osborn this summer as a possible Sheffield United exit beckons.

Derby County and Watford are claimed to be among the versatile midfielder’s admirers, who is currently poised become a free agent when his Sheffield United deal expires later this month.

Osborn, 29, was born in Derby but is a product of the Nottingham Forest academy. He played 230 times for the club, chipping in with 16 goals and 31 assists, so it would be a surprise to see him join the Rams.

derby county, 3 Ben Osborn alternatives Derby County must eye amid links with ex-Nottingham Forest man
Image courtesy of: JOHN CLIFTON/REUTERS.

And, with Watford keen, the Championship new boys would likely have strong competition if they were to pursue a deal.

With that said, it could be wise for Paul Warne and co to consider some alternatives. Here, we put forward three players for Derby County to keep in mind…

Callum Styles – Barnsley

Hungarian international Styles will be back with Barnsley once again this summer following the end of his Sunderland loan. With his deal up in 2025, a sale seems highly likely.

As a versatile midfielder who can comfortably operate as a wing-back and full-back as well, the 24-year-old could be the ideal candidate as an Osborn alternative for Derby County.

His loans haven’t brought the best out of him but if he can settle at a permanent home, Styles will be well-placed to get back to the electric best he previously displayed in the Championship.

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derby county, 3 Ben Osborn alternatives Derby County must eye amid links with ex-Nottingham Forest man
Image courtesy of: BERNADETT SZABO/REUTERS.

Adam Reach – West Brom

Paul Warne has shown a liking for more experienced players and on a free transfer, departing West Brom man Reach could be a solid option for the Rams.

The 31-year-old can operate in a range of midfield roles but has also found action as a full-back or wing-back. Reach has played 375 times in the second-tier, so his experience is just about unmatched.

The former Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough man could be a real leader for Derby County and is one worth considering if a rumoured move for Osborn doesn’t come to fruition.

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derby county, 3 Ben Osborn alternatives Derby County must eye amid links with ex-Nottingham Forest man

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Alex Cochrane – Hearts

Last but not least, Derby County should have Hearts man Cochrane in mind as a potential summer target.

The 24-year-old has kicked on in Scotland since joining his loan club permanently from Brighton and with a year left on his contract, a shot in the Championship with Warne and co could make for an appealing option.

Cochrane mainly plays on the left as a wing-back or full-back but his ability on the ball has seen him play in midfield too. The Englishman has five goals and 15 assists in 126 games for the Jam Tarts.

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