Three questions arise as Derby County release their squad numbers

Derby County have announced their squad numbers for the upcoming 2015/16 Championship season.

As reported on the Derby County official website, The Rams have confirmed their squad numbers list ahead of the upcoming 2015/16 Championship season.

The list, which includes just 24 names, focuses on immediate first-team players and has missed out a couple of notable names from the under-21 side who will have been looking to break through.

Derby 2015/16 squad numbers:

1. Lee Grant
2. Cyrus Christie
3. Craig Forsyth
4. Craig Bryson
5. Jake Buxton
6. Richard Keogh
7. Simon Dawkins
8. Jeff Hendrick
9. Chris Martin
10. Darren Bent
11. Johnny Russell
12. Chris Baird
15. Raul Albentosa
16. Alex Pearce
17. Scott Carson
18. Conor Sammon
19. Will Hughes
21. Kelle Roos
23. Tom Ince
24. Andreas Weimann
26. Jamie Hanson
32. Ryan Shotton
34. George Thorne
37. Stephen Warnock

We take a look at three questions which arise following the announcement of Paul Clement’s first-team squad.

What now for the eight players dropped from last season’s squad?

Last season, Derby registered an incredible 42 players over the course of the campaign, so a reduction to just 24 seems quite drastic.

Mason Bennett (20), Alban Bunjaku (22), Ivan Calero (27), Farrend Rawson (28), Kwame Thomas (29), Isak Ssewankambo (30), Alefe Santos (31) and Jonathan Mitchell (35) are the players who remain at the club to lose their position in the first-team squad.

Clement could be using the snub as a challenge to the players to win their shirt back over the course of the season and make themselves a member of the squad.

For example, Bennett, who has lost his squad number after three consecutive seasons, could use this as a wake-up call to finally reach his full potential.

Big season for Jamie Hanson?

After the clamp down of youth team players getting shirt numbers, the decision to introduce Hanson to the first-team squad shows that he may have a fairly big part to play next season.

The England under-20 international was fourth choice in the defensive midfield position last season, behind George Thorne, Omar Mascarell and John Eustace, but could now look to be considered as a much more serious member of the squad as the latter two have now left.

Raul Albentosa here to stay?

Last season, the signing of the Spaniard caused a frenzy among fans as he was so highly-rated for his performances in La Liga.

Nevertheless, it took a long time for the 26-year-old to break into the team, largely due to injuries, and when he did, came into a side very low on confidence.

The ex-Eibar defender’s performances were far from outstanding and questions over his ability to adapt to the English game began to crop up.

A squad number promotion – from 36 to 15 – shows that he could well be in the manager’s thoughts ahead of next season.

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