Current free agent and former Derby County forward Martyn Waghorn has been training with the Rams again this past week following his appearance in Craig Forsyth’s testimonial match last weekend.

The striker, who is also deployed on the wing at times, spent three years with Derby between 2018 and 2021, notably scoring a brace on the final day of the 2020/21 season to secure Championship safety for the club against Sheffield Wednesday.

Alongside Craig Bryson, David Nugent and Bradley Johnson, Waghorn formed part of an ex-Rams quartet that featured in a friendly against Stoke City last week to commemorate Forsyth’s ten years with the East Midlands outfit. The 33-year-old noticeably had a longer spell on the pitch in comparison to the other returning fan favourites, sparking debate over whether he might be in Paul Warne’s plans for the upcoming campaign.

Photos of the Englishman training with Derby following the testimonial soon did the rounds on social media, prompting Rams boss Warne to speak on the matter.

Barnsley v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

“It is very simple,” stated the gaffer.

“Waggy played for us last week in Fozzy’s testimonial and I really liked him as a lad.

“I realise he is out of contract and he lives not far away. I just thought you should treat ex-players with respect so I invited him to train.

“I have been completely open with him and if he signs for someone tomorrow then he goes with my blessing.

“There might be something here for you, there might not. Just train and play in the games and if we can help each other out, great.”

Labelled ‘brilliant’ by Coventry City boss Mark Robins, Waghorn featured in a behind closed doors fixture against former club Huddersfield Town before making another cameo in the Rams’ final pre-season fixture against Sheffield United yesterday afternoon.

Could Waghorn return?

The forward put in a solid display, causing supporters to send a clear message to Warne as chants of ‘sign him up’ echoed around Pride Park.

Waghorn was lively, linked up with his teammates well and almost grabbed an assist but for Curtis Nelson’s header flying over the crossbar from his inch-perfect corner delivery.

Derby are in the market for a striker, that has been made clear. James Collins and Conor Washington are the club’s current options in that department, but Warne wants another.

Released from Coventry this summer, Waggy has done himself no disservice with his performances as of late. He is firmly in the shop window and the Rams boss may well be wise to pounce.

We will simply have to wait and see with this one, but you would imagine it is a serious possibility.

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