Pride Park stadium

Wayne Rooney’s Derby County have defied recent financial struggles to bring in five new signings yesterday, on the last day the January transfer window was open.

Manchester-born Tenden Mengi was the first player announced who has joined the club on loan from Manchester United for the remainder of the season. The England youth international, who is just 18 and has only played one senior professional match, is the first signing by Wayne Rooney since he became permanent manager in mid-January.

The defender said it was a ‘no brainer’ to join the club. He told Derby County: ‘I think I did well in the under-23s last season so I think I need a new challenge.’ One of the reasons he made the move was linking up with the Manchester United legend and now new manager Rooney. ‘He has been brilliant with me so far’.

Controversial Rangers central defender George Edmundson has also signed on loan. The 23-year-old arrives at Pride Park having spent the last season at the Scottish club where he featured in the Old Firm Derby against Celtic for Steven Gerrard. Not having played many games for Rangers, his most recent competitive run of games occurred when he made 80 appearances for Oldham Athletic in 2018/19 where he was named in the Sky Bet League 2 Team of the Season.

Edmundson was banned by the Scottish Football Association for seven games earlier this season for breaking COVID protocols. It came on top of a two-week suspension by Rangers where he was also issued with a fixed penalty notice by police who were called out to break up an early-hours get-together in Glasgow. Edmusnson did apologise back in November on his personal social media, ‘I apologise unreservedly to the Rangers fans for my actions. I have assured the manager, club and my team-mates that these actions won’t be repeated, and I have learned from my mistake.’ Following the seven game ban Edmundson was unable to get back in the impressive Rangers side who now sit top of the table 23 points clear of their nearest rivals.

The Rams also added veteran striker Lee Gregory, who joined on loan from fellow Championship side Stoke City. The 32 year old has scored nearly 200 goals in his professional career and will spend the rest of the season at Derby County – who have struggled to score all season. Gregory is most famous for his Lon stint with Millwall where he became the eighth highest goalscorer in the club history in his five successful seasons scoring 77 goals.

Only last month were Derby County in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The impeding financial takeover, branded ‘imminent’ in September is still yet to go through with Arab Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan. It meant the first team players weren’t paid on time last month due to lack of funding in the club.

Financial worries didn’t stop Derby purchasing Everton central midfielder Beni Baningime on loan for the rest of the season. The 22-year-old reunites with former playing partner Wayne Rooney having made 12 appearances for the toffees, including eight in the Premier League. The talented player has also starred in the Europa League and was brought up through the Everton youth system where he was previously named Academy Player of the Year.

Even though the transfer deadline was 11pm on Monday 1 February, former England youth international winger Patrick Roberts was named Derby’s latest signing after the window had closed. With all the paperwork being completed just in time the 23-year-old has joined the Rams on loan from Manchester City, the current leaders at the top of Englands top flight. The wiseman is yet to get a run of games for his parent club, he’s already played on loan for Celtics, Spanish side Girona, Norwich City and Middlesborough. His biggest achievement was probably the key role he played in Englands 2014 European Championship Under-17 tournament where England came first thanks to Roberts scoring three goals and recording four assists.

With a flurry of singings it was only acceptable that a number of players would leave the club in January. Duane Holmes (Undisclosed), George Evans (750k) and Morgan Whittaker (700k) have all left the club permanently, singing for Championship sides Huddersfield Town, Millwall and Swansea City respectively.

It was also announced yesterday 22-year-old striker Jahmal Hector-Ingrim will join Stevenage on loan until the end of the season who has struggled to get game time at his time in Derby’s first 11. He joins Isaac Hutchinson who also left on loan this window. He joined Forest Green Rovers earlier in January until the end of the season.

Outside Pride Park Stadium

It is unclear whether any of the five deadline day signings will be available to play for Derby County in their upcoming fixture tonight against fellow bottom half side Rotherham United in the Championship. The Rams will look for their fourth successful victory in a row when they kick off at 7pm.