Considered by many as a statement signing this summer, Sonny Bradley has had a difficult start to life with Derby County.

The towering centre-back joined as a free agent having been part of Luton Town’s promotion winning side last season as club captain and was expected to be the calm, composed, assertive defender that the Rams needed to help sturdy their defensive lines.

So far, however, Bradley has struggled to adapt to his new side.

The 6 ft 5 in defender started for Derby on the opening day in their defeat to Wigan Athletic, producing an error which directly lead to one of the Latics’ goals as the visitors secured a 2-1 victory.

Derby County v Sheffield United - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

He then started the next fixture, a Carabao Cup tie at home to Blackpool, where he was subbed off at half-time with Paul Warne’s men trailing 2-0. Unable to get back into the fixture, that is how the result stayed as the Rams bowed out of the cup.

Starting again in the following league match against Burton Albion, it appeared a leaf had been turned as Derby ran out 3-0 winners, but the next game against Oxford United saw Bradley subbed off again just prior to the hour mark as Warne’s men fell to yet another defeat on home soil.

The 31-year-old has failed to start a match since, making a late cameo in a 1-0 win over Fleetwood Town, being an unused substitute in the Rams’ 4-2 away victory over Peterborough United and only being used in Derby’s most recent fixture against Bolton Wanderers due to an injury sustained by Jake Rooney.

Warne’s men were hard done to against the Whites on Saturday, losing 2-1 due to a heavily deflected cross finding its way into the back of the net after goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith was controversially sent off just moments into the second half.

What has gone wrong for Bradley?

Bradley came under fire by supporters who felt Wildsmith’s red card would have been avoided if the former Luton man had efficiently controlled the ball in the build-up.

It appears that Warne has lost some trust in the summer signing, as despite Eiran Cashin‘s absence from the starting XI at the weekend he opted to push Craig Forsyth across into the centre-back spot and play Callum Elder at left-back.

With his performances seemingly not picking up, and the news that Cashin will now remain at the club until at least January, it is looking likely that it will be a long route back into the starting lineup now for Bradley unless the Rams encounter any further injuries at the back.

Here is to hoping that he can rediscover his form, a little bit of confidence goes a long way and that is something that the summer addition appears to be lacking at present.