Seventeen months ago, Jesse Lingard terrorised Sheffield Wednesday’s defence, scoring four goals for Birmingham City on his first pro start.
Tomorrow the talented England Under-21 international will be looking to open his Derby County account at the iPro Stadium against the Owls.
There is a strong possibility Lingard will be plunged into the Rams’ starting line-up for the first time since arriving on loan from Manchester United on transfer deadline day this weekend.
Lingard, aged 22, made a big impact as a second half substitute as Derby battled back from two goals down to draw 3-3 at Rotherham United in midweek.
Derby boss Steve McClaren said: “Jesse is going to be a real asset for us, and that is important. You see his threat, his pace and intelligence.
“We saw out on the pitch that he can score goals – his shot was deflected in by Darren Bent - he can create, he’s quick, he’s lively.
“His performance against Reading showed he can be a threat for opposition defences and we also saw that against Rotherham too with the goal he set up.
“He has been very impressive and look forward to him being part of the squad for the next few months.”
As well as Lingard, Ryan Shotton, Simon Dawkins and Craig Bryson are also pushing for a start while Stephen Warnock is available for selection again following a one-match suspension.
Derby dropped to third in the table after Middlesbrough’s draw at Birmingham City on Wednesday.
On facing Wednesday, McClaren said: “They have been very hard to beat this season and they have a very good away record.
“There is no expectation on them to score and so they can sit back, be defensive and wait.
“We have to be patient, and that is a big word.
“We say that to the players, and we say that to the fans, as well - be patient, stay in the game, stay with the team.”