Derby County midfielder Tom Huddlestone has taken to Twitter to describe his feeling at signing a new one-year contract extension. The club’s official website confirmed the deal yesterday.
The four-capped England international’s previous deal was set to expire in the summer. Many at Pride Park had tipped Huddlestone to leave with manager Frank Lampard seeking a culture change.
This time last year the Rams had one of the oldest squads in the Championship. Upon Lampard’s arrival as boss last summer, the former Chelsea midfielder made lowering the average age one of his first tasks.
In came several young players such as Duane Holmes, Mason Mount, Jack Marriot, Fikayo Tomori, Harry Wilson and George Evans – the latter a holding midfielder signing from fellow Championship side Reading.
Evans was expected to replace Huddlestone long-term, but ‘Huddz’ has proven to be somewhat irreplaceable at present.
Lampard will have seen Huddlestone’s positive effect on the side and may have seen the benefit of keeping him on board for one more year. Reacting on Twitter, the former Derby academy star was quick to share his delight.
Buzzing to have my deal extended my another year. Let’s hope we can kick on now to give ourselves the best chance to be in an higher league next year 🐏🐏⚽️⚽️2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣0️⃣
— Tom Huddlestone (@Huddz8) March 21, 2019
Tom Huddlestone’s importance in Derby County’s midfield:
The 32-year-old may be past his prime and at times at fault for Derby’s slow and laboured possession play. Having said that, the Rams certainly look a more-equipped side with him in the starting XI.
Huddlestone has started 19 Championship games this season, with Derby winning nine and drawing five of them.
While Huddlestone’s fresh deal is certainly great for him, it may spell bad news for several of his teammates. Fellow ageing midfielders Bradley Johnson, Craig Bryson and Jacob Butterfield are all out of contract this summer. Derby aren’t likely to retain any more.
The Rams, meanwhile, are eighth in the Championship table ahead of their next home clash with Rotherham United. A victory will get their playoff bid back on track and keep the pressure on their fellow top-six rivals.
Also see: Frank Lampard’s latest comments may explain Derby County’s poor recent form