Derby County preserved their Championship status on the final day of the season, twice coming from behind to draw 3-3 with Sheffield Wednesday in a relegation showdown.
Despite winning just one of their final 15 league games, Wayne Rooney’s side survived as Rotherham United, Wycombe Wanderers and the Owls dropped into League One.
Rooney has since come out and called on the club to start work immediately for next season, and here are five players Derby should look at snagging from their relegation rivals.
Derby were reportedly keen on Ladapo during the January transfer window. It seemed bizarre at the time as to why Rotherham would consider selling to a relegation rival.
But Millers boss Paul Warne later confirmed the Rams’ interest and claimed the striker could be available to sign in the summer window should he wish to leave.
Ladapo scored nine goals in 23 Championship starts this season.
Osaze Urhoghide was one of a few bright sparks in an otherwise disastrous campaign for Sheffield Wednesday which culminated in the club’s relegation to League One.
The 20-year-old defender broke through and made 13 Championship appearances.
But with his contract expiring this summer, the Owls are in danger of losing another one of their top young talents for next-to-nothing following Liam Shaw’s switch to Celtic.
Derby need defenders, and Urhoghide represents a potential bargain.
Former Owls boss Tony Pulis called Dominic Iorfa a Rolls Royce of a player.
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers man is far too good for League One, yet a season-ending injury back in December meant he couldn’t prevent the Owls’ drop.
Iorfa wouldn’t come cheap, but if Derby want a long-term defender with the potential to become a Premier League star, then the Wednesday man is a standout candidate.
Another one of Wednesday’s most valuable players is Josh Windass.
The former Wigan Athletic man was largely starved of service upfront for the Owls this season, yet he still managed to post an impressive nine goals and five assists.
Derby must strengthen their attacking options this summer. Colin Kazim-Richards turns 35 in August, while Martyn Waghorn is out of contract next month.
Of the teams down there, Wycombe finished the season by far the strongest but the Chairboys ultimately paid the price for their terrible start to the campaign.
Josh Knight was a rock at the back for Gareth Ainworth’s side late on, with Wycombe keeping five clean sheets in his last seven Championship appearances for the club.
The 23-year-old can operate both as a central defender and holding midfielder. He is versatile and would be a decent long-term option with potential to improve further.
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