Derby County face Preston North End in midweek and one player who may have extra motivation to impress is Preston’s recent transfer window signing Ben Whiteman.

The former Doncaster Rovers midfielder joined the Lillywhites in January.

Preston seemingly beat several Championship clubs to his signature, with Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers and Derby also keen on the former Doncaster captain.

According to Football Insider in January 2020, then Derby boss Phillip Cocu wanted him.

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Whiteman was making headways in League One, with current Hull City manager Grant McCann telling the Yorkshire Post how the 24-year-old was among the best in the league.

But it soon came to light how Derby were in a soft transfer embargo at the time.

Ultimately, Whiteman remained at Doncaster until finally making the move to the Championship with Derby’s upcoming opponents Preston for an undisclosed fee.

Whiteman has since gone on to make 17 Championship starts for Preston.

Derby, now under the guidance of Wayne Rooney, head to Deepdale desperate to end a poor run of form and move away from the threat of relegation.

Stoke City v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
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The Rams have won just one of their last 11 Championship games and have picked up just one point from their last seven on the road leaving them in 21st position in the table.

Rotherham United are four points behind Derby with two games in hand, meaning for the first time the Rams’ fate is no longer in their hands as they will need a favour elsewhere.

Rooney, however, will be focusing only on Derby’s games and they face a Preston side who have won just one in nine and are currently manager-less after dismissing Alex Neil.

Also see: Report: Derby figure a leading contender for international job; Butt could replace him

Also see: DCN View: Preston confirm deal which may boost Derby’s bid to sign ‘brilliant’ top scorer

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