Clement was ready to become a full-time manager, but has explained that the chance to be an assistant at Real Madrid is something that he couldn’t say no to.
It shows how close the Rams could have come to a very different current situation and imminent future, but there are plenty of reasons to suggest why Clement’s decision to delay a role in management was the right one.
“I started thinking about it a couple of years ago, but after Paris Saint-Germain the opportunity came up at Real Madrid and I thought that’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and after that spell I thought it was a really good time for me to make that step,” he said.
Derby benefit because Clement’s spell with Real Madrid gave him even greater experience in terms of handling high profile and egotistical players.
That makes him well suited to man management at Derby and should help him to protect specific qualities in the current squad, as the Rams look to move forward.
It’s also a spell, which allowed him to watch Spanish football up close. It would be naïve of him to try and get Derby playing the same way as Real Madrid, but it’s a spell which would have allowed him to develop his tactical understanding of the game.
Derby are at their very best when they control possession and stroke the ball around the pitch and Clement needs to tweak things as he looks to take the side forward, adapting them based on the strengths in their style and hopefully pushing the club towards the top six at the very least.