Plenty of Norwich City old boys in Derby’s squad – but who will we see?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
There could be familiar faces aplenty on Saturday when a Derby squad laced with former Canaries visit Carrow Road.
The Rams currently have half a dozen City ‘old boys’ on their books.
Probably the most influential has been midfielder Bradley Johnson, who has made 10 starts and scored four goals – only striker Matej Vydra, with six, has more this season.
Johnson was a hugely popular figure at Norwich and many fans were surprised the player of the season was allowed to leave on the final day of the 2015 summer transfer window.
Alex Neil, City boss at the time, later explained: “I thought the money we were getting was a good deal and so did the powers-that-be.”
Johnson faced his old boss a year later, in November, 2016, and the inevitable happened – he scored the only goal as City suffered their fifth straight defeat.
Andre Wisdom, who had an injury-hit season-long loan at City in 2014-15 when he made nine league starts, has also been a key figure: he has started nine games.
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For the rest of the City connections, it’s been a different story - centre-half Jason Shackell has yet to feature in the league, making just two League Cup starts. The 34-year-old came through the ranks at Carrow Road, starting 126 games for the Canaries.
Chris Martin is another homegrown product: he made his name under Peter Grant, when he enjoyed a goal-scoring burst in the early months of 2007 when City really needed the then 17-year-old to hit the ground running – Grant had lost Rob Earnshaw through injury.
Martin has started just two games, with nine sub appearances, this season, but will Rams boss Gary Rowett fancy him against his old club - a year ago Martin earned Fulham a point with an equaliser at Craven Cottage but in April he was sent off as Fulham won 3-1 at Carrow Road. Jacob Butterfield won’t be around on Saturday – he’s on loan at Sheffield Wednesday - while defender Alex Pearce, who had a short loan spell from Reading under Glenn Roeder in early 2008, is another who has featured only in league cup games.
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