Three players who should be at the top of Derby County's summer shopping list

Burton's Jackson Irvine in action with Derby's Will Hughes

HITC Sport takes a look at three potential summer targets for Derby County, including a Bristol City defender and one of Brentford's star players.

Derby County manager Gary RowettDerby County manager Gary Rowett

Since taking over the reigns at Pride Park, Gary Rowett has already had a big impact on his Derby County side, with the Rams looking rejuvenated since the arrival of the former Birmingham City and Burton Albion manager.

Switching the playing-style up, Rowett has changed a side used to playing a slow, possession-based 4-3-3 to a fast-paced, energetic 4-2-3-1; a system which is getting the best out of formally under-achieving players like Matej Vydra and Johnny Russell.

With the play-offs still technically in sight, Derby County's season isn't over just yet. However, it would take some dramatic results from the teams above Derby for the Rams to reach the top six this season, and therefore those behind the scenes at Pride Park are likely already planning for next season.

With this in mind, HITC Sport has taken a look at three players who we think should be at the top of Derby County's summer shopping list. But do you agree with our choices? Do you think there's much chance of these deals going through? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

1. Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion)

Burton's Jackson Irvine celebrates scoring their first goalBurton's Jackson Irvine celebrates scoring against Derby County

The Australian midfielder has been a revelation for Burton Albion this season, after joining the Brewers from Ross County in the summer. Scoring 10 goals for Burton, the central midfielder has arguably been Nigel Clough's best player this season, and it had been reported by The Derby Telegraph back in January that the Rams were contemplating a move for the Australian. Tough, powerful and lethal in the air and at arriving late into the box to snatch a goal, Jackson Irvine could add some much needed goals to Derby County's midfield.

2. Aden Flint (Bristol City)

Bristol City's Aden Flint and Birmingham City's Clayton Donaldson in actionBristol City's Aden Flint in action

The 27-year-old centre half has been one of the Robins most important players since joining them from rivals Swindon Town back in 2013. Standing at 6ft 5, the defender is lethal in the air, and has scored an impressive 25 goals for the Robins during his three and a half years at the club. The Rams have struggled at the back at times this season, often conceding goals from set-pieces and struggling with last minute winners. Would a defender of Flint's ability help sure up what has been a leaky Rams defence, and give them a solid base to build on next season?

3. Jota (Brentford)

Brentford's Ramallo Jota scores their fourth goal to complete his hat trickBrentford's Jota scores to complete his hat-trick

Since coming back into the Brentford side, Spanish midfielder Jota has been in fine form, scoring eight goals in 15 appearances. A real wizard with the ball at his feet, Jota stands out as one of the really class players at Griffin Park, and could be the subject of a lot of attention in the summer. Get West London have recently reported that Brentford manager Dean Smith is still hopeful of securing the Spaniard to a new deal at Griffin Park, but should Derby County try to sneak in a register their interest? Jota could offer goals and assists, as well as the ability to fill in anywhere across the front three for the Rams. 

Derby County manager Gary Rowett celebrates at full timeDerby County manager Gary Rowett

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