Derby County boss Wayne Rooney says Martyn Waghorn’s behaviour in training is unacceptable and paves further evidence towards a potential summer exit.

The Rams were defeated 1-0 at Stoke City on Saturday in a poor game.

One of the major talking points before the game was the exclusion of Waghorn.

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Colin Kazim-Richards was carrying a knock, while Lee Gregory was ineligible. Waghorn was the only other senior striker option, yet he was left out of the matchday squad.

Academy striker Cameron Cresswell took his place and came on for his debut.

Many queried whether Waghorn picked up an injury in training, but Rooney told the Athletic’s Ryan Conway after the game how he was dropped for unprofessional behaviour.

It has been largely a season to forget for Waghorn.

The former Rangers man joined Derby in 2018 from Ipswich Town for £5 million. He helped the Rams, under the guidance of Frank Lampard, reach the playoffs.

Waghorn’s form arguably improved under Phillip Cocu, as he became a more prominent figure and bettered his 2018-19 tally with 12 goals and three assists last season.

But so far this campaign, he has scored just three goals in 27 Championship appearances, with two of those coming via direct freekicks on his return from injury in October.

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Waghorn has scored just once in his last 24 appearances, while he has only started twice in the past month with both of those games ending in a 1-0 defeat.

At 31 and with his contract expiring in the summer, Waghorn’s future at Pride Park was already under question and now the latest call from Rooney could seal his fate.

Also see: ‘Shambles; Ridiculous’: Some Derby fans question Rooney decision after CKR reveal

Also see: ‘Special’ talent who recently left Derby begins Liverpool first team training

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