Derby County moved to sign West Bromwich Albion midfielder George Thorne for an undisclosed fee on a four-year deal in July 2014.
Thorne became a huge hit both on and off the field at the iPro Stadium during a twelve-game loan spell in the second half of the 2013/14 campaign, and Derby were determined to see him return on a permanent basis once the campaign came to an end.
His impressive form in the holding midfield role took Derby to another level in the latter stages of the season and he scored on two occasions, including a superb volley in the Rams’ Play-Off Semi Final Home Leg success against Brighton & Hove Albion.
However, an ACL injury soon after his arrival on a permanent basis, as well as niggling thigh injury upon his return in February 2015, limited him to just three appearances during the 2014/15 campaign.
After a summer of hard work, Thorne returned for pre-season ahead of the 2015/16 season in fine fettle and played the most amount of minutes over the club’s fixtures in the build-up to the new campaign.
The midfielder went on to play in 36 of the Rams’ fixtures over the campaign, scoring three goals including one of the club’s Goal of the Season contenders against Huddersfield Town.
His season, however, ended in disappointment with Thorne suffering a broken leg in Derby’s final regular Championship fixture against Ipswich Town.
Thorne, a graduate of West Bromwich Albion’s Academy system, made his first-team debut at 16 years of age during the 2009/10 season.
He made his Premier League bow for the Baggies in the following season – before heading out on loan during two separate spells at Portsmouth, then in the Championship, during the 2011/12 campaign to gain first-team experience on a regular basis.
2012/13 provided a similar spell at Peterborough United, where he scored his first professional goal in December 2012 against Bolton Wanderers, before he returned to the Hawthorns to make seven first-team appearances inside a month.
However, he suffered an unfortunate anterior cruciate ligament injury which ruled him out of action for the rest of the season in January 2013.
After returning to full fitness, Thorne spent a month on loan at Watford in the Championship and made eight appearances before returning to the West Midlands.
In total he has 36 international caps at England youth international level to his name, 20 of which were for England’s Under 19s.