Derby aiming to keep loan stars from Liverpool and Chelsea next season

Steve McClaren will discuss the return of Patrick Bamford, George Thorne and Andre Wisdom in the next few weeks, as Derby County secure third place.

The Rams clinched third place in the Championship with a 4-2 home victory over Watford at the iPro Stadium - with Thorne and Wisdom starring in an impressive performance - and as they look to navigate the play-offs, McClaren has confirmed his interest in recruiting the services of his three loanees for another season.

Whilst full-back Wisdom has made 34 consecutive starts since arriving from Liverpool in October, and midfielder Thorne has featured nine times since his arrival in January, it has been Patrick Bamford - on loan from Chelsea - who has impressed fans and critics alike.

The striker - who spent the first half of the season contributing 17 goals to MK Dons league campaign - made his debut for Derby in January, and has gone on to score eight goals in 20 appearances. Seen by many Chelsea fans as a future Blues star, his goalscoring ability could be the key to Derby achieving promotion through the play-offs.

If Derby do succeed in the play-offs, the knowledge that consistent Premier League football will be available would be a draw for the parent clubs of the loanees. Whereas a second consecutive season in the Championship could stunt their development, a year in the Premier League would show if the ability to make it at the top level is there.

But, as always, it is up to the parent club to make the decision over their players future.

Speaking following the victory over Watford, first-team coach Paul Simpson vocalised the thoughts of the management team: “We know what we want, it is a case of seeing what the parent clubs want to do with their players.

“I think they [the players] have shown they can fit into our group, fit into Derby County.

“As a football club, we have shown we can look after them properly and will try and teach them the way Steve McClaren wants to play.”

This optimistic viewpoint is telling of the positive mentality surrounding the club, and achieving promotion to the top-flight of English football would send this optimism into full-blown jubilation.

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