Derby County were defeated 1-0 by Queens Park Rangers on a grim night at Pride Park with defender Rob Dickie putting in a man of the match performance.
The former Oxford United man is showing his potential at Championship level.
According to West London Sport, Dickie cost QPR a fee of around £1.8 million in the summer as the Hoops beat plenty of competition to his signature.
Among those reportedly keen on Dickie was Derby County.
Football Insider last December claimed Derby were monitoring his progress at Oxford United.
Dickie helped the U’s reach the League One playoff final. Moreover, he enjoyed a good cup run which culminated in a wonderful tie against Manchester City.
The 24-year-old has plenty of potential, and the Mirror liken him to Manchester United’s Harry Maguire who also featured in League One when at Sheffield United.
Derby got to witness the Dickie hype on Wednesday evening and the Rams will certainly feel some regret that they missed out on a player seemingly destined for the top level.
Dickie posted three tackles, eight clearances and four aerial winners – more than any other QPR player in all three categories. Moreover, his 86.9% pass-accuracy rate was only bettered by two of his teammates and he provided the assist for Macauley Bonne’s late winner.
The strong central defender showed all the traits Derby were lacking on Wednesday. He provided intensity out of possession and positivity while on the ball.
Derby have a number of players capable of playing at centre-back. However, leading defender Matt Clarke is only on loan while Curtis Davies turns 35 this year.
A new central defender will again be a top priority for the Rams next summer, and they may struggle to find a player of Dickie’s quality for the bargain fee QPR paid.