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Despite their pedigree and reputation in English football, Derby County are not among the biggest spenders in the Championship. In fact, it has been more than a couple of years since they’ve last broken their transfer record.
In 2016/17, the Rams bought Matej Vidra from Watford for a reported fee of £8.4m, eclipsing the former record-holder, Bradley Johnson, who was signed a year prior to that from Norwich City for a total of £7.2m.
But they did come fairly close to setting a new record in 2019/20 when they acquired the services of the young Krystian Bielik from Arsenal for a fee of £7.3m, which is now their second most expensive purchase in the history of the club.
Still, their sales are slightly more impressive in financial terms and interestingly enough, it is the same player who holds the record in both departments. Vidra was sold to Burnley for £10.9m in 2018/19, just two years after his arrival, making the Rams a bit of profit along the way as well.
Before Vidra, however, Jeff Hendrick was their most lucrative piece of business with his 2016/17’s £10.6m move to… Burnley once again. And that’s basically it when it comes to their modern sales since the third player in line is actually Seth Johnson and his £10.3m transfer happened way back in 2001/02 when he moved to Tottenham Hotspur.
There have been plenty of famous Derby County transfers over the years, some big because of their incredible impact and some big simply because they either flopped or didn’t make much sense in the first place.
But if we focus on some of the transfers that ended up making a huge mark on the club, we have to mention some players of the years gone by. Archie Gemmill cost Derby County only £66,000 back in the day and little did anyone know that he would soon become an integral part of the team, completely justifying the then high price tag on his head.
Kevin Hector is another recruit who ended up wowing the crowds and the supporters and then we have the likes of Roy McFarland or even Igor Stimac who joined the club from the Croatian side, Hajduk Split.
And of course, who could forget Peter Shilton, the famous goalie who donned the Rams’ colours between 1987 and 1992.