Derby County’s season has been a difficult one to say the least.
They started the campaign abysmally and were staring at potential relegation under Dutchman Phillip Cocu.
Heading into December the club had won just once from their 13 Championship matches.
However, step forward Wayne Rooney. He’s not someone we recognised as having the ability to turn a team around from a managerial perspective but that’s exactly what he’s done.
The Rams are now unbeaten in their last six matches and a 2-0 win over high-flying Swansea on Wednesday evening capped off their wonderful rejuvenation.
However, should we be surprised at the turnaround when you consider that Krystian Bielik is back in the side? Arguably not.
At last the former Arsenal man is proving exactly why they forked out a projected fee of £10m. For the second tier, this was big money but the colossal display he showed this week and indeed since he has returned from injury is justifying that price tag.
Since Bielik returned from a cruciate ligament injury in November, Derby have lost just once. Clearly, he has been a key player at Pride Park and on a night where the attack shone on Wednesday, he outperformed goal scorers Colin Kazim-Richards and Kamil Jozwiak.
The 22-year-old was a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the pitch, winning 69% of his duels throughout the contest. That means Bielik was victorious in three tackles and two interceptions.
Furthermore, the Pole was assured with the ball at his feet, completing 85% of his passes and registering a 100% dribble success rate.
This was a performance that had everything as he broke through the lines but also defended tremendously well, laying a strong platform from which Derby were able to win.
Swansea players found him difficult to deal with as he was fouled on two occasions and once all was said and done, he was surely Derby’s man of the match. Bielik had composure, energy and most importantly, control.
That hasn’t always been apparent at Derby this season.