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The pressure on Derby County over the next few months will be the most intense it has been for a very long time, and Derby don’t do particularly well under that type of pressure.
Whether it was the final days of the 2015 season where they lost the opportunity to gain promotion, or the end of the play-off final against QPR, or even the 2007 season when they were in the automatic positions in January only to struggle to make it through the playoffs at the end of year – Derby get nervous at this time of year. Which is why it makes a lot of sense that Derby brought in Kasey Palmer on deadline day this January.
Palmer is still a Chelsea player, although he had been at Huddersfield for so long he had become part of the furniture. But he has switched to the North for the Midlands and moved to Pride Park to help Derby repeat Huddersfield’s trick and earn promotion to the Premier League.
The 21-year-old is a talented young player full of creativity and pace, something that Derby have been lacking in recent seasons. He will bring something different to a Derby side that has folded in recent years when the going gets tough.
This season Kasey Palmer has only made four appearances for Huddersfield in the Premier League and has found it difficult to recover from a hamstring injury, but after making 25 appearances the year before and providing 4 goals and 3 assists, he is well placed to add to a Derby attack that has struggled to find its form in recent weeks.
For Derby, the signing of Kasey Palmer shows a willingness to freshen up their style of play. It has been obvious for a while now that they struggle once teams have worked out their way of playing, and with so many teams around them strengthening it was vital that the Rams did something to make the others sit up and take notice.
Kasey Palmer, like Cameron Jerome, may not be a long-term signing for the Rams but Gary Rowett and Mel Morris realise that a lot can happen in the run into the end of the season. Derby have been burnt before, this time they are determined to make the final leap.