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Derby need to keep Wayne Rooney’s Rugrats in League One and they’ll be promoted back to the Championship in no time

DERBY COUNTY will play League One Football next season.

Even legendary escape artist Harry Houdini himself couldn’t have held onto that the rams now in the championship.

Wayne Rooney celebrates defeating Fulham with teen striker Luke Plange

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Wayne Rooney celebrates defeating Fulham with teen striker Luke PlangePhoto credit: Rex

But there’s no question that the future at Pride Park will be bright if three things happen in the coming weeks: American businessman Chris Kirchner takes over the ailing club; Wayne Rooney commits to staying for another season; and they capture an extraordinarily talented group of children.

Despite Rooney Fielding FIVE youth and overall NINE Players aged 21 and under came from behind Derby in a rocking Pride Park on Friday night to beat runaway leaders Fulham.

And you have to say Manchester United and England legend – who himself made his goalscoring debut at Everton at the age of 16 – was the perfect man to tend this crop.

Derby has four games left and needs to win EVERYTHING of them have every chance.

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With Reading nine points clear, it has to be said that this is probably a big challenge too many for a team who would have stayed comfortably on top were it not for the 21-point deduction imposed on them by the EFL.

But if the club remodels the rooney babesthey will certainly be back in the championship very quickly.

And there’s every chance a more financially adept promotion to the Premier League can also be attempted.

So here I let dominion over her fledglings run.

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LUKE PLANGE

With Derby just needing money to get through the season, the 19-year-old striker is UNFORTUNATELY already a Crystal Palace player after being sold during the January transfer window.

But he’s unlikely to get any playing time at Palace next season so maybe Derby can try to get him back on loan as he’ll certainly play for Roo in League One every week.

He caused Fulham plenty of trouble, equalizing and putting pressure on Tosin Adarabioyo to put his own keeper to the winner.

Plange came through the youth ranks at Arsenal before being snapped up by the Rams.

CARLOS RICHARDS

DESPITE still not passing his GCSE exams, the 16-year-old Gibraltar winger was brought on in the closing stages of his first-team debut on Friday.

Coming through the youth system at Chelsea before briefly playing at West Ham, then signing for the Rams reserve team earlier in the season – and Rooney has been so impressed with his progress.

Richards has already been capped three times by Gibraltar’s U17 side.

LIAM THOMPSON

THIS 19-year-old midfielder is mustard – and the club want to tie him to a new contract when his current deal expires this summer.

He helped set up the equalizer against Fulham and can pick a pass.
That’s no surprise considering he was his childhood hero Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta.

The Premier League vultures will surely be circling around this midfield dynamo this summer.

Liam Thompson has been a revelation for Derby County this season

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Liam Thompson has been a revelation for Derby County this seasonPhoto credit: Getty

MALCOLM EBIOWEI

ANOTHER brilliant boy Derby needs to nail to a contract. . . before it is too late.

The importance of keeping him was highlighted by another Rams prodigy, Festy Ebosele, who left for Udinese in the summer after signing a preliminary contract.

Ebiowei, 18, an Arsenal academy product who spent 18 months at Rangers, has a mature head on his young shoulders and loves taking on players.

EIRAN CASH

The 20-year-old Ireland centre-back has been brilliant since joining the team, learning by playing alongside 37-year-old Curtis Davies alongside a wise old man.

Level-headed with a great left foot, he gives the Rams nice balance.

Lee Buchanan

Left-back is one of the older heads in the team at 21!

He has already made 55 appearances for Derby and the club will do very well to keep him this summer.

Representing England at U-19, U-20 and U-21 levels, he is composed and even takes the ball off his centre-backs to find the next pass.

JASON KNIGHT

WHEN a 21-year-old is entrusted by Rooney (right) with being Derby’s captain at times, you know there must be something about him.

Knight is only five games away from 100 appearances.

He has great desire, an edge in his game and plenty of staying power.

Jason Knight, 21, was a candidate for captain for Wayne Rooney's Derby

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Jason Knight, 21, was a candidate for captain for Wayne Rooney’s DerbyPhoto credit: Getty

LOUIE SIBLEY

STRONG and powerful, he’s a player who isn’t afraid to mix it up – and you’d back him up to win most physical duels.

The club have the 20-year-old under contract until 2024 but are certainly looking to tie him beyond this summer, although that can be difficult when the Rams play in the Premier League.

Iron must press

I WAS sad to see Scunthorpe’s 72 years in the EFL come to an end.

Tyrese Sinclair showed his desperation after the Good Friday defeat at Leyton Orient sealed her fate.

The Irons are in for a mighty summer now because the National League is a damn tough division to get out of.

They need to build a very strong team to deal with Tier 5 – which is practically as good as Tier 2 – but without breaking the bank.

Now the focus shifts to Oldham, founding members of the Premier League who are also in grave danger.

What a farce it would be if they went under. The mismanagement of this club was an absolute disgrace.

Dejected Scunthorpe United fans react to the Good Friday loss to Leyton Orient that sealed relegation from the EFL

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Dejected Scunthorpe United fans react to the Good Friday loss to Leyton Orient that sealed relegation from the EFLPhoto credit: Getty

Jones Potshot

NATHAN JONES made me laugh as he discussed referee James Linington’s performance.

The unfortunate official dealt TWELVE yellow cards and one red in Luton’s 1-0 win Nottingham Forest at Kenilworth Road on Friday.

Hatters boss Jones joked: “The ref was a little bit happy about the deduction – at one point I think he booked two in the crowd!”

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Linington gave the players’ teacher-like lectures and was quite arrogant throughout.

Instead he should have lectured his linesman, who was raising his flag for offside, to stop Djed Spence’s perfectly fine goal for Forest. Shocking.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/18292176/derby-county-wayne-rooney-league-one/ Derby need to keep Wayne Rooney’s Rugrats in League One and they’ll be promoted back to the Championship in no time

Ashley

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