The 2019/20 season was always going to be a testing one for The Rams with three of last season’s star performers following Frank Lampard out of the door after the play-off final defeat to Aston Villa at Wembley.
Player of the Year Fikayo Tomori and attacking midfielder Mason Mount joined up with Lampard at Chelsea but Harry Wilson, who scored 18 goals in all competitions in Derby colours, was arguably the biggest loss.
By the time the transfer window slammed shut in August, Derby had failed to adequately replace a Welsh wing wizard with an eye for the spectacular – though it was not for a lack of trying.
The Rams’ interest in Grady Diangana and Jacob Murphy, who eventually joined Championship rivals West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday, is already well known. But their attempts to bring £2.5 million Canos to Pride Park went under the radar.
The skilful Spanish schemer was in the form of his life for Brentford during 2018/19, contributing nine goals and seven assists, and he’d have brought the kind of vision, poise and cutting edge that an often toothless Derby side have lacked since Cocu took over.
With Canos suffering a serious knee injury in October, however, it seems unlikely that Derby will be renewing their interest by the time January rolls around.
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