The trio of future England stars have all bought into the Steve McClaren revolution at the iPro Stadium and, going into the second half of the season, Derby County now look to be one of the strongest outfits in the division.
We analyse why three of the top clubs in the country have invested in the Rams promotion push by way of young loan players, and what they could possibly get out of it.
The most impressive part of Derby County's play this season has been attacking flair - and goals. The Rams have scored an impressive 48 goals in 24 games, 5 more than anyone else in the Championship, and an incredible 30 more than some teams in the Division. It underlines Derby's creativity, and the attacking mindset that allows players to have freedom, which means Chelsea starlet Bamford should thrive at the iPro under McClaren's leadership.
Another interesting factor is the overwhelming amount of young talent already in the side, meaning that Derby County has become a place for thriving England youngsters to build relationships both on and off the field. Derby can now boast FOUR of the current England U21 squad in Will Hughes, Andre Wisdom, Michael Keane and Patrick Bamford. And alongside them, the club also have Max Lowe and Mason Bennett in their ranks, who are also England regulars in younger sides.
Although arguably the biggest pull for Derby County is the new management structure. McClaren has clearly endured a topsy turvy managerial career, but he continues to have an excellent reputation in the game. In fact, one of the reasons that Bamford chose Derby over other suitors was the chance to work under McClaren again, having worked with him briefly at Nottingham Forest.
Along with McClaren, Derby have former Preston North End manager Paul Simpson and world renowned goalkeeping coach Eric Steele, who was largely credited with the vast improvement of current Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.
So the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United know that by loaning out young talent to McClaren and Derby County, their players will not only get more game time and match day experience, but will also be coached by a top quality coaching team that will help with their development.
Derby certainly be one of the sides to watch in the second half of the season.
image: © Liz Phillips