The Rams have given Ryan Smith some much needed first-team football by allowing him to move to Millwall on a month’s loan.
The 20-year-old joined the Rams from Arsenal in August but has struggled to win a place in the starting line-up.
He has made only seven appearances and a further 13 from the bench. He started the FA Cup defeat at Plymouth last month and his last League start was against Sheffield Wednesday six months ago.
Rams boss Billy Davies said: “The loan spell will allow Ryan to get some games under his belt and then he will come back and be available for selection.
“He is a young player who has always been very much a long-term signing for us. When a team is doing well in the League, as we are, it is inevitable certain young players find games restricted.
“That’s been the case with Ryan, so the month at Millwall should be beneficial to him and Derby County.’ Smith will be at Millwall until April 21.
The club have announced more players could go out on loan, with defender Paul Boertien one of the possibilities. Davies said: “Boets needs some games and with his contract up in the summer he needs to go and put himself in the shop window.”
The Rams have until the 5pm transfer deadline tonight if they want to bring in cover at centre-back, after Michael Johnson’s torn hamstring looks to have ended his season and Davies is keen to increase defensive options with an emergency loan.
‘We are looking at the centre-back situation and there’s still a possibility of one or two things,’ said Davies.