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Derby County FC Player Profiles

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UPDATED 03:26 4th August 2016

Derby County signed Northern Ireland international Chris Baird during the summer of 2015 on a free transfer.

Baird joined Derby on a two-year deal, with the option of a further year, ahead of the expiry of his contract at Premier League side West Bromwich Albion.

He was a regular face in Derby side at the beginning of the 2015/16 season and made 16 appearances for the Rams, predominantly as a full back but also in the holding midfield positions.

February 2016 saw the versatile operator link up with former club Fulham until the end of the campaign on loan, where he made seven appearances for the side as they solidified their Championship status.

Having also helped Northern Ireland reach the UEFA Euro 2016 Finals, Baird also made one appearance in France, starting their tournament opener against Poland.

The Ballymoney-born player is capable of performing in a number of positions, notably as a holding midfielder and in defence, and arrived with over 300 career games to his name at club level.

Baird’s career began on the South Coast with Southampton during the 2002/03 season, after progressing through their youth system, and he went on to make 79 appearances for the Saints, while in just his fourth professional outing he appeared in their FA Cup Final defeat to Arsenal.

He also spent time on loan at Walsall and Watford to gain first team experience in the early years of his career before becoming a regular at St Mary’s, winning Southampton’s Player of the Season Award in the 2006/07 campaign.

In July 2007, Baird joined Fulham for a fee of just over £3 Million and during his time at Craven Cottage he made 165 appearances in all competitions, 127 of which were in the Premier League.

He proved to be a key player for Fulham, particularly under Roy Hodgson, and he was an important part of the squad that reached the Europa League Final in 2010, with Baird occupying a place in the starting line-up as the Cottagers narrowly lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid.

After leaving Fulham, Baird spent time with Reading in the early part of the 2013/14 season before moving to Burnley in the latter stages of the campaign to help the Clarets secure promotion to the Premier League.

Baird spent the 2014/15 season back in the top flight at West Bromwich Albion, playing 24 times under both Alan Irvine and Tony Pulis, as he helped the Baggies secure Premier League football for another season, taking his club appearances total beyond the 300 mark in the process.

On the international stage, Baird appeared for his country for the first time at senior level in June 2003 against Italy, having represented Northern Ireland at both Under 18 and Under 21 level.