One-time Rangers link Graeme Shinnie is turning out for the Derby U23s just a few a months after signing for the Rams this summer.
The former Aberdeen captain played 90 minutes for the development side as they beat their Southampton equivalents 1-0 on Monday night.
The player took a big leap to move down south when the Championship outfit were managed by Frank Lampard.
But after Lampard moved to Chelsea and Phillip Cocu came in, it’s been a challenging time for the left-back-turned-midfielder.
So far Shinnie has only made one appearance for Derby this season – playing the full 90 minutes against League One Scunthorpe in the EFL Cup.
And Dutch boss Cocu’s comments won’t exactly fill him with confidence that there are more to come.
“He wasn’t signed by me, that’s true,” said Cocu, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“He is playing with the under-23s. He just has to work a little bit longer with me and with my staff to find the right way to work together.
“He has his qualities, but we have a lot of players with good qualities. That is why there is competition inside the team.
“Sometimes, players can be disappointed and out of the team, or with the under-23s, then the next game they can be in.
“That is also depending on themselves and how they perform during games and during training sessions.
“Everybody is used to competition inside a team. If you don’t have that, players can get really comfortable and that is not good either.
“I also believe that every player needs the possibility of playing minutes in a team. If you don’t have any prospect of playing, it will be very hard to keep your motivation.
“We will work with all players, we sit down with all players to see what they do well or what they can improve.”
There were doubts over the legitimacy of Rangers’ interest in Shinnie [Bristol Live] prior to him signing on at Pride Park in the summer.
Naturally a left-back, and given our ongoing complications in the position, you can see why the club might’ve been interested in moving for the player this season.
But the fact he has not yet been deemed good enough for the Championship suggests we may well have made the right move.
Now, the player looks to have a real fight on his hands to prove he has a future at the Derbyshire club.
Given those complications at left-back – and despite no official suggestion of this – could we maybe offer Shinnie an Ibrox loan reprieve?