James Bailey was transfer listed a couple of months ago and now his squad number (25, initially allocated for this season) has been taken away, leaving him without a number. It does appear Rams boss Nigel Clough is ‘freezing him out’, just like he’s done with the likes of Dave Martin, Dean Leacock, Lee Croft, Stephen Bywater and Chris Maguire.
I believe James Bailey still has a lot to offer at Derby County. I can’t argue with the potential that youngsters Will Hughes and Jeff Hendrick have shown but they are still developing players, still learning. I don’t think their form can be consistent because they’re still developing players, for me Hendrick proved that last season. He had some fantastic games but I thought he had some really terrible ones too, where he couldn’t get in the game at all. Fans just seemed to not mention much into it, riding on his brilliant winning goal versus Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. Will Hughes looked very good in the pre-season friendly with Sunderland and does look ready to step up to Championship action but will he be consistent enough? That’s the key. You also must consider injuries, in recent seasons The Rams have had a number of them leaving the club without enough depth to cover- that’s another reason to keep Bails. We also must remember that Will Hughes and Jeff Hendrick could soon be attracting big named clubs and that would definitely leave us short in midfield but granted we could us the money to buy someone new (that doesn’t happen instantly, though).
With Bailey you always get a good accomplished performance, in my opinion. James Bailey had a wonderful first season playing alongside Robbie Savage, even picking up the club’s young player of the year award. Injuries didn’t help him last season and the form of Hendrick in some parts of the campaign. One decision I never understood was bringing in Tom Carroll on loan from Spurs and playing him so often after bad performance after another, he never looked any better than Bailey. James Bailey was fit for most of Carroll’s loan spell and some fans even booed Carroll calling for Bailey to play instead.
So if you’re reading Clough (unlikely!), KEEP JAMES BAILEY!
Send me your thoughts on this via twitter- @NMtherams