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Derby to start contract talks with in-form 31-year-old star – Is it a good step by the club?

Chris Martin of Derby County reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Millwall at Pride Park Stadium on December 14, 2019 in Derby, England. (Getty Images)
Chris Martin of Derby County reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Millwall at Pride Park Stadium on December 14, 2019 in Derby, England. (Getty Images)

Why Derby County are right in starting contract talks with Chris Martin

Derby County manager Phillip Cocu has said that the club will starts talks with Chris Martin over a new deal by the end of this month or early next month. (h/t Derby Telegraph)

Chris Martin, 31, is enjoying his most productive campaign since 2016-17 as his brace in the 3-0 home victory over Blackburn Rovers took his tally for the season to 10 in 29 appearances including four in his last five games. However, the centre-forward is out of contract at the end of the season.

Having said that, should Derby County hand Martin a new deal? Yes, they should. Derby County have shown some form of late, having won back-to-back games in the Championship. They have been inconsistent throughout the campaign under Phillip Cocu, who replaced Frank Lampard at the start of the 2019/20 campaign.

Chris Martin of Derby County celebrates after winning the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Blackburn Rovers at Pride Park Stadium on March 08, 2020 in Derby. (Getty Images)
Chris Martin of Derby County celebrates after winning the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Blackburn Rovers at Pride Park Stadium on March 08, 2020 in Derby. (Getty Images)

It has taken time for Cocu to implement his style of play at Pride Park as the Rams are now just five points adrift of the last playoff spot. While we have entered the business end of the campaign, the fans should be happy with how the team has responded in the recent few weeks.

Indeed, there have been plenty of positives from the Rams of late, ranging from the positive impact made by the arrival of Wayne Rooney to the form of some of the young players. The fans at Pride Park have every reason to look forward to better things in the days to come, with young guns Jason Knight, Louie Sibley, Max Bird and Max Lowe impressing under Cocu.

Attention must turn towards retaining some of the important members of the club in the coming weeks and Chris Martin should be one of the first names on that list.

It wasn’t all rosy for Martin at the start of the campaign. He had to wait until the end of September for his first start. After a slow start, credit has to be given to the 31-year-old for scoring 10 goals so far this season, because there were question marks over whether he could regain the kind of form that had made him one of the top centre-forwards in the Championship once.

Manager of Derby County, Phillip Cocu during the FA Cup Third Round match between Crystal Palace and Derby County at Selhurst Park on January 05, 2020 in London, England. (Getty Images)
Manager of Derby County, Phillip Cocu during the FA Cup Third Round match between Crystal Palace and Derby County at Selhurst Park on January 05, 2020 in London, England. (Getty Images)

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Martin is in hot form, having scored four goals in his last five starts for the Rams. He has taken his game to new heights under the watchful eyes of Cocu, establishing himself as one of the first names on the Dutchman’s team sheet.

Verdict

To put things into perspective, Martin continues to be a key figure at Pride Park and it should be a no-brainer for Derby to reward him with a new deal at the earliest.

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