Graphic: Derby County’s best XI, including January signing Nick Blackman

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Derby County have an abundance of talented players.

Derby County have strengthened their squad with the January acquisitions of pacey winger Abdoul Camara and talented forward Nick Blackman from Championship rivals Reading.

The Rams were already positioned well in the Championship despite their recent 2-0 defeat at league leaders Middlesbrough, occupying second place in the table ahead of Hull City.

Boro, Derby and Hull are many Championship observers’ favourites to win promotion this season, and thus far the trio haven’t upset the bookmakers as they look the most formidable sides in the division.

Derby, in particular, boast an abundance of attacking talent and their financial outlay this season has already seen them break their club transfer record on two separate occasions.

Having so much squad depth surely puts them in a very good position, but it also piles the pressure on boss Paul Clement and challenges him to keep all of his players happy.

Is there such thing as a best Derby XI with so many top Championship players to choose from? Well, the graphic below illustrates one which could be deemed as their strongest at present.

The back five pretty much pick themselves, although a fully-fit Craig Forsyth would come in for the reliable Stephen Warnock and pose an added attacking threat.

George Thorne is Derby’s best holding midfielder, but the other two positions are widely up for debate.

Bradley Johnson, Jacob Butterfield and Jeff Hendrick have been rotating somewhat of late, but the imminent return of Craig Bryson from injury means it becomes two from four.

Add the currently injured England U21 international Will Hughes into the mix, and that is a real potential selection headache for former Real Madrid number two Clement.

The forward three positions have seen Chris Martin predominantly the centre-forward, with Tom Ince on one side and either Andreas Weimann or Johnny Russell featuring on the other flank.

Now Guinea international Camara adds real pace on either side, while fellow new addition Blackman is one of the league’s top scorers despite playing mostly out in a wide area.

Blackman’s ability from wide areas would arguably make him Derby’s most potent weapon from wide areas, although he could also play through the middle with Darren Bent another option.

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