Relegation Poaching: Derby County

Ben Hoskins

Derby County narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League, so who from their squad could be an improvement at Aston Villa?

Relegation may have been settled in the Premier League a few weeks ago, but that doesn't mean that another team didn't come oh-so-close to the massive payday that is next season's TV money. Conceding five seconds shy of full time against 10-man Queens Park Rangers was devastating for Derby County, but losing some of the players that propelled them on a push through the promotion playoffs could have a much greater impact on the club's future.

The Rams have a few game-changing players that Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert should take a look at in order to improve his squad, and I will be highlighting a few of them here and saying how likely the move is.

Remember, I will be rating the likelihood on a scale of 1-10, with 10 meaning that Lambert Should be interested, not that he necessarily Is interested.

Will Hughes: Having just turned 19 years old a little over a month ago, Will Hughes is one of the big names on fan's lips when they mention up-and-coming English talent. The central midfielder has seen his market value increase by over five million pounds over the last 14 months, so the concern for Villa is that he may not be affordable if Lambert has tight pursestrings this summer.

Likelihood rating; 4/10: Hughes could get regular playing time at Villa Park, which is what it may take to land him. However, having just signed a contract extension that will keep him with the Championship side until June 2016, it doesn't look too likely.

Craig Bryson: Finally coming into his own this year, Craig Bryson scored 16 goals and assisted another 14 in 45 appearances in the Championship. These performances throughout the campaign saw Bryson earn the club's Player of the Year award and also a place in the PFA Championship Team of the Season. Just reaching the prime of his career at age 27, the Scottish central midfielder's value also has increased greatly since joining Derby for £449K from Kilmarnock in 2011.

Likelihood rating; 5/10: If Lambert finally decides to start buying experienced players, Bryson may be a good option. With a market value around £2m, Bryson and his wages would be affordable for Villa.

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