Paul Clement should make Liam Bridcutt his first signing if he becomes Derby County manager

Paul Clement played a key role in the development of Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt while earning his stripes at Chelsea.

According to the BBC, Real Madrid assistant manager Paul Clement is poised to become the new Derby County head coach and is expected to be announced this week.

If the deal goes through as planned, the former Chelsea coach should look at contacting one of his former players in Liam Bridcutt as he begins to work out why Derby didn’t win promotion to the Premier League in 2014/15.

The Rams, lauded for their attacking football, were left exposed in defence towards the end of the season as all three holding midfielders – George Thorne, Omar Mascarell and John Eustace – were injured at the most crucial stage of the campaign.

After it was announced by the Derby Telegraph that Mascarell would return to Real Madrid this summer and with no update on whether Eustace will sign a new deal, Thorne looks to be the only senior player capable of filling that position. However, his injury record will give the Rams' new head coach cause for concern, regardless of whether that is Clement or not.

Why would Bridcutt be a good signing for Derby?

The 26-year-old has been a bit-part player for Sunderland since his move from Brighton in January 2014 and will no doubt be eager to get more regular playing time.

While at Brighton, the Scotland international earned plenty of plaudits for his performances and was named the club’s player of the season on two separate occasions, as reported on Brighton's official club website, first for 2011-12 season and again for 2012-13.

He specialises in a role Derby are currently lacking in and should jump at the chance to once again build his reputation after a couple of years away from the spotlight.

Nevertheless, he would still face stiff competition from Thorne, who many consider to be Derby’s best player, but could help ease the load for the former West Brom midfielder as he looks to stay injury-free after appearing in just three Championship games in this campaign.

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