The instant impact Albentosa had on Derby over the weekend

Derby County West Stand

Raul Albentosa allowed Derby County to show versatility in defence over the weekend.

Derby County’s FA Cup game against Chesterfield over the weekend offered Rams fans everywhere the opportunity to take a look at new signing Raul Albentosa.

Fresh out of La Liga, the match was a great chance for the Spaniard to show what he was all about and his inclusion, albeit only for 45 minutes, allowed Derby to try something a little bit different under Steve McClaren.

The boss may have been willing to offer his new player a little bit of protection, but his inclusion allowed Derby to experiment with a three man centre back system, which Chesterfield seemed to struggle with.

The obvious benefit of using three men in defence is that it allows the full-backs to get forward and Albentosa looks relatively comfortable in terms of patrolling the backline alongside two other players.

It also provides McClaren with the option to pack the midfield in one of two ways.

He can either use three players centrally or go with a flat midfield four, with one up front if he feels the side are under a bit more pressure.

Derby are at their very best when they dominate possession through the middle of the team and a three at the back system allows them to do that against opponents where they hold a quality advantage.

The worry is that it’s a system that Derby aren’t used to and there were one or two examples where Chesterfield had the opportunity to exploit a little bit of confusion in the home defence.

It was always going to be difficult for Albentosa coming into the team for the first time but the early signs are encouraging and he’ll improve as his fitness and understanding alongside Derby’s other defenders develops.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch