According to a recent online study by The Ninety Two, Frank Lampard’s Derby County rank inside the Championship’s top six this season for giving youngsters playing time.
The report states the Rams have given 9,553 minutes playing time to players 23 years of age or under. This time last year, there is good reason to believe that figure wouldn’t even reach a third of that amount.
Former manager Gary Rowett was a big advocate of experience. The once Derby County fullback liked his side to have a solid defensive foundation and play to the percentages.
Players such as Scott Carson, Joe Ledley, Tom Huddlestone, Cameron Jerome, Chris Baird, Ikechi Anya, Marcus Olsson, Curtis Davies and Bradley Johnson were all in their thirties and regularly playing.
How Frank Lampard has introduced youth at Derby County:
Under new manager Frank Lampard, that has all changed. Of the players mentioned above, only Carson and Huddlestone have featured in more than 10 league games this season.
Lampard went about lowering Derby’s average age last summer. He signed Mason Mount, Harry Wilson, Fikayo Tomori, Duane Holmes and Jack Marriott – all 23 or younger at the time.
Minutes given to players 23-year-old and younger in the Football League this season, via @prospectwatch1:#YouthDevelopmentWeek pic.twitter.com/VmKO3izI63
— TheNinetyTwo (@TheNinetyTwo_) February 4, 2019
Moreover, youth players such as Max Lowe, Mason Bennett and particularly Jayden Bogle have been given plenty of opportunities. Bogle, 18, has made that right-back slot his own with 23 Championship starts this term.
Rowett’s decision to leave Derby for Stoke prompted angry responses from supporters. But, in truth, the club’s poor playing style and lack of emphasis on a long-term plan meant he never fully convinced anyway.
Lampard, on the other hand, seemingly has almost universal support from those at Pride Park and the latest study regarding youth will only endear him further to the fans.
The Rams currently sit just outside the playoffs on goal difference heading into this weekend’s clash with Hull City. With entertaining football, a few exciting cups runs, a shot at promotion and youth coming through, Lampard has already ticked several boxes in his short spell in the East Midlands.
Also see: Derby County must enter the race for free agent Efe Ambrose