Former Derby County player Timi Elsnik spoke about his Pride Park experience to Loathed Strangers podcast and says the Rams tried selling him before his release.
The Slovenia international joined Derby in the summer of 2015.
After his first season in the academy, he won the Scholar of the Year award and penned a new three-year contract at Pride Park taking him up to the summer of 2019.
Elsnik enjoyed loan spells at Swindon Town, Mansfield Town and Northampton Town. The latter, however, came about after Derby seemingly tried to cash in on him.
The 21-year-old was enjoying a season-long loan at Mansfield when he claims the Rams tried to force the club to buy him six months prior to his contract expiration.
I was supposed to stay at Mansfield for the whole season. It was a season-long loan and Derby had a recall option in January. They knew my contract was up in the summer and I will be able to leave for free.
They didn’t want to offer me a new one and they tried to force Mansfield to buy me in January. Mansfield was like, ‘Hold up, he was supposed to be on loan for the whole season… Why would we pay for him now when we can get him for free in the summer?’
They had that disagreement and Derby called me back to the U23s. They saw that nobody would buy me as I would be available on a free in the summer so they thought, ‘We are losing money now to cover your wages so we’re just going to send you back out on loan’. And I ended up at Northampton.
Timi Elsnik was highly considered at Derby’s academy.
Elsnik was a regular for Mansfield, making 19 League Two appearances.
The midfielder’s spell at Northampton didn’t quite go as well. Elsnik made just nine appearances (mostly as a substitute) before being released by Derby in the summer of 2019.
Derby’s behaviour was questionable. However, Elsnik points out that football is a business, and at Championship level every penny counts in the quest for promotion.
The former Derby academy star is now on the books of Olimpija back in his native Slovenia. He will hope a good spell there could prompt a move to one of Europe’s top leagues.