The Derby County squad is currently one of the smallest in the Championship with only 14 senior players contracted to the club beyond June.
The Rams recently released their retained list for the 2021/22 campaign.
Andre Wisdom, Martyn Waghorn and Curtis Davies are all out of contract. Despite reported offers on the table, none have committed to the club beyond this month.
Jack Marriott, meanwhile, appears set to move to Championship rivals Hull City.
Here we look at the Derby best XI from the 14 senior players in the squad contracted beyond June.
Scotland international David Marshall gets the nod in goal ahead of Kelle Roos.
Derby’s defence is certainly short on options. George Edmundson, Matt Clarke and Teden Mengi have all departed Pride Park following the end of their loan spells.
The Rams would have no natural senior centre-backs on their books should Wisdom and Davies also leave, meaning a makeshift defence could be on the horizon.
Krystian Bielik would be far more influential in a midfield role. However, the current injured Polish enforcer is also apt at playing in central defence if necessary.
Craig Forsyth is primarily a left-back. But given his height, strength and determination, Derby’s current longest-serving player could also do a job in the middle.
Lee Buchanan and Nathan Byrne will be first-choice fullbacks.
Derby’s strongest area:
Derby’s strongest area in terms of player depth is in midfield. Bielik, Max Bird, Jason Knight and Player of the Year Graeme Shinnie are all natural central midfielders.
Knight and Shinnie arguably make the best pairing while Bielik is out injured. Attacking midfielder Louie Sibley, meanwhile, will hope to push on next season.
Tom Lawrence and Poland international Kamil Jozwiak take up wide positions.
Colin Kazim-Richards topped Derby’s scoring charts last season. The much-travelled striker turns 35 in August, and he is currently the only senior striker contracted to the club.
Derby’s current XI could have enough about them to compete well. However, with injuries and suspensions, a squad of 14 seniors would take its toll and struggle.
The Rams must improve their defence and forward options this summer, while a creative central midfield capable of scoring goals would also be a welcome addition.
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