Former Derby County target Jonathan Panzo has been named among the top 50 best young players in the world by football editorial Football Critic the Golden Boys.
Panzo, a 20-year-old defender, has made big strides in France.
The former Chelsea defender moved to Monaco where he shone for the youth teams.
Panzo attracted interest in 2020, with Derby among those keen to sign him.
Sky Sports claimed the Rams had him on their wanted list after re-signing Matt Clarke, but they only wanted to pay around half of Monaco’s £4 million asking price.
MORE DERBY STORIES
Dijon ultimately signed Panzo for a reported £1.8 million fee (Goal).
Dijon endured a difficult campaign and they were relegated from France’s top-flight. Panzo, however, was a standout performer, making 22 top-flight appearances.
Football Critic list him as the 47th best youngster in the world. Former Derby ace Jayden Bogle is one place below, while Dortmund’s Erling Haaland tops the list.
Derby will surely regret missing out on the English defender last summer.
Panzo has since become a target for Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach.
Derby’s defensive situation:
Derby, meanwhile, are desperately short of central defenders. Matt Clarke, George Edmundson and Teden Mengi have all departed after their loan spells.
Andre Wisdom and Curtis Davies, on the other hand, are out of contract.
Derby are in danger of heading into their pre-season camp without a single recognised senior central defender on their books while finances for new signings are limited.
Cocu struggled to build on his first season at Derby. However, he was let down in the transfer market and Panzo is another example of a top former target impressing elsewhere.