Derby County signed five players on the final day of the January transfer window with two of those likely pushing Leeds United target Louie Sibley further down the pecking order.
Sibley burst onto the scene last season and became an immediate fans favourite.
The attacking midfielder had been impressing for the U23s, then got his break under the guidance of former manager Phillip Cocu who handed him his debut.
Sibley went on to post five goals and two assists in nine Championship games at the back end of last season, including a hat-trick in the victory at Millwall post lockdown.
Phillip Cocu called Sibley a special and unique talent.
His form alerted the attentions of Leeds United. Leeds chief Victor Orta told the Yorkshire Live last summer how the Premier League side were interested in Sibley.
But so far this season, the 19-year-old has barely featured.
Sibley featured heavily at the beginning of the season, but since then he has made just three Championship starts under Wayne Rooney with his last coming early January.
Rooney just doesn’t seem to fancy him right now with Kamil Jozwiak, Martyn Waghorn and Jason Knight all starting in attacking positions ahead of Sibley in recent games.
Moreover, the Rams completed loan deals for Patrick Roberts and Lee Gregory on deadline day and the attacking duo both came off bench before Sibley on Wednesday.
Throw in the impending return of Tom Lawrence from injury, and Derby’s rising talent may struggle to start another game this season unless something drastically changes.
Sibley’s situation could give Leeds a major boost should they pursue a deal in the summer.
The Whites have performed brilliantly in the Premier League this season and manager Marcelo Bielsa could be an ideal figure to help Sibley unleash his huge potential.
Also see: New signing assured of ‘brilliant’ Derby move shares what Rooney told him before loan switch
Also see: Rooney says Derby player is one of the best talents in the country amid West Ham interest