Jamie Ward’s replacement? Ivan Calero trains with Derby County first-team

Ivan Calero could be earmarked as Nottingham Forest winger Jamie Ward’s replacement in the Derby County squad for next season.

Ivan Calero featured prominently in dcfc.co.uk’s pre-season training gallary as Derby County head coach Paul Clement watched his complete Derby County first-team squad for the first time on Monday after Will Hughes returned from his international break.

The 20-year-old, who had also been heavily involved in first-team training last week, survived the cut as Clement seemingly slimlined his squad down to focus on the more senior members of the team.

New signings Tom Ince, Alex Pearce, Darren Bent, Craig Baird, Andreas Weimann and Scott Carson were also involved in training as the only absentee looked to be the injured Jake Buxton.

Can Ivan Calero replace Jamie Ward in the Derby squad?

Although Clement has already brought in Weimann and Ince to cover the wide positions, the former Real Madrid assistant may be keen to keep Calero around in case of injury.

The former Atletico Madrid youngster came to the East Midlands with a fantastic reputation and was outstanding for the Rams’ under-21 side last season despite missing out on promotion to the U21 Premier League first division by just a point.

He scored minutes into his first team debut with Derby, in the league cup against Charlton, and came on as a late substitution against Nottingham Forest for his Championship debut at the City Ground.

Nevertheless, he spent the majority of the second half of the season in the under-21 side, aside from an underwhelming loan spell at Burton Albion, and it seemed his outstanding performances were going unnoticed.

A fresh start could be all he needs to have an impact on the first-team and with Jamie Ward released and signing for Forest, the exciting talent should get a chance to prove himself this pre-season.

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