Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Monday December 18 2006
The big clubs are hovering around Pride Park, and it`s the form of eighteen-year-old Giles Barnes who has a number of Premier League clubs jostling for prime position to snap up the talented midfielder.
Barnes signed for the Rams in August 2005 as a trainee, and his impressive performances this season has made him an integral part of the Rams side currently sitting in second spot in the Championship. Rams coach Billy Davies has given the youngster some advice saying: "Giles Barnes has got good potential but he can get better like a lot of our players.
'His final ball should be better. His left side should be better. He's got great potential but he's a young player and he can't rest on his laurels. None of us can. We're not good enough to do that."
But saying that the Rams boss doesn`t want the youngster to leave the Pride Park, and he is getting a little frustrated with all the speculation surrounding the teenager`s future. He has again stressed that Barnes is a big part of his plans and the player's future is at Derby.
'I am not interested in letting Giles Barnes go,' said Davies.
'As far as I am concerned, he is very much in the long-term plans for Derby County's rebuilding programme.
'I'm looking to build a squad and develop a team and I'm hoping that he is a part of that for many years to come.'
He was linked with a £1m transfer to Newcastle United early last season, along with Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Everton who have all watched him on a regular basis this season and Liverpool asked if they could take the England Under-19 international on trial. Derby also received inquiries for the player in the summer, including two written offers, but he signed a new four-year contract and is happy to be playing with his home club. He told Sky Sports: 'I played 20 games last season when we flirted with relegation, so this season is a dream come true for me.
'I'm playing for the club I love and we're riding high in the table. I can almost taste the Premiership and that's where we want to be.
'Derby is where I want to be and I can get into the Premiership with this club. They have given me my chance and I want to repay them and the fans for believing in me.'
The Rams need to keep hold of their talented youngster, and now the club is heading in the right direction off the park we shouldn`t sell off our greatest assists. We made a huge mistake by selling Tom Huddlestone to Tottenham for a cut-price figure. He had made his Derby debut on the opening day of the 2003-04 season in a 3-0 defeat to Stoke City. But the North London club acquired his services in July 2005 for an initial fee of £600,000 with possible add-ons taking the fee, rumoured to be around £2.5 million. On current form we should have received a larger fee and may be it was the naivety of the former board, and with his current form the Rams should receive the rest of the transfer fee, sooner rather than later for Davies to strengthen the squad, hopefully for the Premier League push later in the season.
Date:Monday December 18 2006
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