“SAD”: Derby County announced the departure of an exceptional player…

After gaining promotion from League One jointly, Derby County and Oxford United will both participate in the Championship football league the following season.

The Rams advanced automatically, trailing only Portsmouth, the league champions. In the meanwhile, the U’s had to go through the play-offs. They defeated Bolton Wanderers at Wembley after defeating Peterborough United over two legs in the semi-final.

Now, midfielder Louie Sibley may go to Kassam Stadium after leaving Pride Park.

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The Derby County academy alumnus has chosen not to accept a new contract with the team, and according to Football Insider, Oxford United is leading the race to sign him.

As he becomes a free agent, several teams have expressed interest in the 22-year-old, but it’s unclear where he will use his skills next.

Leaving Derby County

Since 2010, Sibley has been a member of Derby County’s roster, having progressed through the youth divisions and into the first squad. During their Championship run, he made his debut for the team and went on to play 67 times at that level.

He played in the third division 80 times following his relegation. In 173 appearances for the team, he finished with 12 assists and 20 goals overall.

But now he’s off to pastures new. It follows a significant portion of the previous campaign in which he excelled in a new position as a left wing-back or left back.

Sibley added six goals and six assists in all competitions while Paul Warne guided his team to promotion. Though his preferred position was in middle, he sometimes found opportunities playing on the left.

Going back to the Championship now?

Sibley’s decision to move on from Derby County makes it unlikely that he will be playing championship football the following season.

Oxford United might be able to give him that, but it wouldn’t be shocking if other teams in the second division were also interested. Additionally, he might be a target for ambitious League One sides hoping to advance, who would be eager to add him to their roster.

Given his skills and potential, Sibley would be a great addition to the third division and deserves another chance to compete in the Championship.

It remains to be seen whose jersey he will be wearing come opening day, although it won’t be Derby County’s as he chose to leave the team.

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