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Warne already knows him: Derby could pull off “outstanding” 1st signing after promotion



After all the promotion parties have subsided, Derby County will realize that the Championship is a whole different animal from League One.

The Rams will want to progressively manage the step-up and solidify themselves as a second-tier side next term, with Paul Warne having to prove naysayers wrong about his patchy record in the league to date in order to guarantee survival.

Having experienced relegation from the Championship just three times as a Rotherham player, Warne was eager to turn the page with the Rams this time.


In the upcoming transfer window, the well-liked 50-year-old might try to make a raid on his previous team as a first move for Derby, possibly defeating all of his suitors to land this much sought-after Millers player.

Derby pursuing a sought-after star

Journalist Alan Nixon reported on his Patreon that Derby is now a surprise party for Viktor Johansson, with other Championship teams attempting to take advantage of Rotherham’s relegation in an effort to sign the exceptional goalkeeper.

In an attempt to move this coup deal through, Derby will be depending on Warne’s previous ties to the South Yorkshire club, as Nixon has further revealed that Rotherham may be willing to part with their star Swedish ‘keeper for just £900k.

Johansson’s excellent season between the posts for the demoted Millers—four saves on average every ninety minutes—has drawn interest from other teams, including Sheffield United, Leeds United, and Stoke City. The 25-year-old played a steady and reliable defense.

Beating that trio to his signature would be a declaration of intent from Warne’s squad, who will require a top-tier goalie to effectively shut out opposition when they return to the Championship and move up to what can be a tough division.

Reasons for signing Johanssen by Derby

Derby may want to upgrade in goalkeeping even though they have the toughest defense in League One this year, thanks to the tenacious efforts of Sonny Bradley and Eiran Cashin at the back, who have allowed only 37 goals in 46 games.


Both Joe Wildsmith and Josh Vickers have been solid options for Warne’s men in the third tier, with Wildsmith, in particular, standing out by picking up 20 clean sheets from 40 contests, but their weak past displays in the division above could unsettle the Rams manager when putting together a Championship capable team in the summer.

Wildsmith vs Vickers vs Johanssen
Goalkeeper Games played Clean sheets
Wildsmith 64 17
Vickers 3 1
Johanssen 109 22
Sourced by Transfermarkt – Championship stats

Looking at the table above, it is evident that Vickers lacks expertise in making the step-up, as Wildsmith trails Johansson in the number of clean sheets acquired.

Even though his side had an extremely bad season and finished in the bottom of the second division, the Scandinavian goalkeeper has persevered heroically in goal for the Millers this season.

Prior to this terrible basement finish, the highly-regarded Millers goalkeeper recorded 13 of his 22 clean sheets at the level. Warne led the South Yorkshire team to a brief stint in 19th place before Derby came calling.


With a more formidable defense in front of him, Warne will want to get back together with his old goalie, whom Josh Bunting, a football journalist, even called “excellent” during the Millers’ victory.

Although you would think Derby would aim a little further than just staying afloat, given how hard the Championship can be, survival will be an acceptable first goal.



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