Derby County youngster Lee Buchanan has arguably been the biggest success for the club this season, leaving little regret at missing out on Chelsea’s Baba Rahman.
The Rams headed into the new season with plenty of change at left-back.
Former academy graduate Max Lowe was sold to Premier League side Sheffield United, while Scott Malone joined Championship rivals Millwall on a season-long loan deal.
It left supporters somewhat bewildered regarding the left-back slot one month ago.
Craig Forsyth is among Derby’s longest-serving players. But the former Watford man is ageing, while Buchanan started the season with little first-team experience.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea’s Baba Rahman was on Derby’s radar.
The Ghana international has spent the past few seasons out on loan, and it was suggested he would again depart the Blues following Ben Chilwell’s arrival at Stamford Bridge.
The Northern Echo then claimed on deadline day, October 16, how Derby and fellow Championship side Middlesbrough had held talks with Rahman over a move.
Ultimately, a deal failed to materialise, and the 26-year-old remained at Chelsea.
Missing out on Rahman, however, has been somewhat of a blessing for Derby.
Lee Buchanan was raw and uneasy when given the opportunity at the back end of last season. Fast forward three months, however, and he now looks a class act.
The 19-year-old is quick, reads the game well, isn’t afraid of getting forward and is surprisingly a major outlet from goal kicks due to his excellent ability in the air.
Despite standing at around 5ft 10inch, he won seven aerial duels in the 1-1 draw with Cardiff City while averaging an impressive 5.7 aerial winners per Championship game.
Derby have seen fullbacks Max Lowe and Jayden Bogle both earn Premier League moves. On recent displays, Buchanan has every chance of emulating his former teammates.