In the 2014–15 campaign, Derby County only made three moves total, one of whom was a player the team would want to forget never set foot in Pride Park.

The team’s performance under manager Steve McClaren dropped from third place the year before to eighth that season.

That season, they finished outside the play-off spots as QPR defeated The Rams to gain promotion to the Premier League at Wembley Stadium.

The signing of Raul Albentosa in January, who did not fare well in his few games for Derby in the second half of the season, was one of the causes of this subpar performance.

Derby signed Raul Albentosa for €600 in 2015

Raul Albentosa 2

Albentosa joined Derby in January 2017 as the newest member of their back four.For €600k, the center half moved to Pride Park, fulfilling the requirement to trigger his contract’s minimum-fee release clause.

With great fanfare, he joined a team that hopes to advance toward promotion to the Premier League for the first time since 2008.

After joining, Albentosa declared that playing in England was his goal and that he was determined to win over the supporters of his new team.

“I’m thrilled to be here. My desire has always been to perform in England, and I will stop at nothing to show my gratitude to those who made this possible for me and brought me here.

Sadly, in a dismal single season in the English leagues, the six-foot-five center-half was unable to win over the supporters. When he signed, Albentosa gave Derby a two-and-a-half-year deal, but he did not even make it through those years in England.

He left the club after just one season to return to Spain

Raul Albentosa 1

Even with all of the excitement surrounding his signing, Albentosa was not very successful at Pride Park.

He appeared to be a wise addition by the Derby board in January, as he played a significant role in Eibar’s promotion to La Liga.

During his brief six-month tenure with the team, Albentosa’s results fell well short of the high expectations of the supporters.

Due to injuries he sustained after joining the team, he was unable to make his league debut in March of that year. With hardly two months of playing time to demonstrate his abilities to the club, this made his brief tenure even shorter.

With his new team, the Spaniard only made nine appearances total—eight league games and one FA Cup tie. He started all but one of the games, but the outcomes fell short of his expectations. With him on the field, the Rams only managed one league victory, a 2-0 triumph over Wigan Athletic in which he played right-back.

With him in the squad, the team only managed eight points; in the six games prior to his injury, they triumphed twice and drew twice. While it is not all Albentosa’s fault, there is undoubtedly some truth to the form decline.

Raul Albentosa statistics for Derby in the Championship – Transfermarkt
Appearances Starts Minutes Goals
8 7 639 0

It was particularly significant during one of the most important games for the team that season.

With a stronger goal differential against Ipswich Town, Derby had an advantage over their rivals in the season finale. Derby only needed one point at home against Reading to guarantee a spot in the play-offs.

He did, however, lose his players for the game’s opening two goals as Reading easily won 3-0.

As a result, McClaren lost his job and the team missed out on the top six. In the summer, Paul Clement took over, but Albentosa’s future was already decided.

Prior to making a permanent switch to Deportivo de La Coruna in the summer of 2016, he spent the summer on loan at Malaga.

His turbulent time at Derby came to an end with this.

Hard to argue he was anything but an utter disaster at Pride Park given his performances lost Derby the chance to advance and also cost the manager his job.