Latest Derby County woes pose fresh questions over the future of their young Irish players

Derby County Irish players

Derby County issued with another points deduction.

Ireland’s Derby County contingent have been dealt a hammer blow in their quest to stay up in the Championship with news of a further nine points deduction for the crisis-ridden club.

The Rams were handed a 12-point deduction earlier this season as a result of going into administration during the summer after staying up last season.

And their task to stay up is going to get even harder as they go a further nine points behind in their battle to stay up, leaving them 18 points off safety.

A big blow for Derby County’s Irish players.

“In order to assess the sporting sanction that was applicable to apply to these breaches, previous P&S cases have been carefully reviewed and guidance taken from them,” an EFL spokesperson said after handing Derby another points deduction.

“The EFL has also considered the P&S sanction guidelines as well as mitigation put forward by the club.

“Given the complex circumstances of the case and the various outstanding regulatory issues between the EFL and Derby County, the league is satisfied at the agreed outcome and the sensible approach taken by both parties in negotiating this outcome and in respect of the appeal withdrawal.

“Our focus is to continue to work with the joint administrators to assist them in securing a long-term future for the club.”

What next for Derby County’s Irish players?

News of this latest deduction for the Rams could not come at a worse time for the Championship club ahead of the January transfer window.

Despite being rooted to the foot of the table, Derby have impressed this season, with Ireland trio Jason Knight, Festy Ebosele and Louie Watson all coming to the fore.

Knight, notably, made a telling impact on international duty for the Boys in Green on Sunday night, involving himself in all three goals in a big win for Ireland.

But this will raise fresh questions regarding his future at Pride Park as Premier League clubs circle for his signature in the January transfer window.

Knight is understood to be attracting the interest of several clubs, including Everton, Burnley, West Ham, Newcastle United and Leeds United as the Rams look to balance their books.

For the likes of Ebosele and Watson, however, it may come at a good time as they continue to get first-team chances in the Championship.

Ebosele, from Wexford, scored his first Championship goal for Derby before the international break and has earned some glowing praise from his manager, Wayne Rooney.

“Festy is difficult to play against – he is raw, quick and strong,” said the former Manchester United star.

“He will make mistakes on the pitch, we know that, he is a young player, but I thought he was very good, always a threat and it was a nice finish from him as well. I was really pleased for him because he has put a lot of work in…

“Festy has got the ability to cause teams problems. If he keeps working and keeps improving, he can be a big player.”

But with a League One arrival all but inevitable for Derby, it will be interesting to see where Ebosele ends up, as Knight appears on the brink of a move away.

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