Sky Sports pundit Andy Hinchcliffe believes exposure to first-team football at Derby County has helped the development of young players such as Mason Mount and Harry Wilson this season.
Both players have proven to be pivotal players for Derby this season under Frank Lampard and have been involved in 40 goals for the club in both league and cup competitions.
Wilson is the club’s top goalscorer with 18 goals, whilst he has also contributed six assists, whilst Mount has found the net 11 times and provided five assists.
That’s an impressive return from two players who are enjoying their first full season in English competitive football.
Hinchcliffe, who made over 400 appearances in a career which spanned 16-years, playing for Manchester City, Everton and Sheffield Wednesday, believes their time at Derby has been a huge success in the lead-up to next Monday's Play-Off Final against Aston Villa.
“If you look at stats, Harry Wilson, due to the amount of goals he has scored, has been impressive and his set pieces especially,” he told dcfc.co.uk.
“Mason Mount hasn’t gone under the radar, we have known about their talent before they arrived at the club, but this is why young talented players need to be playing football.
“It has worked so well for him because he is playing regular football at a great football club at a high level.
“It’s also important that those players benefit Derby as well; it’s not just for them to get out playing and then they can go back to their parent clubs, it’s about achieving something with the clubs that they are at.
“For someone like Mason, he is clearly a good young player, playing regularly for a club he is benefiting by being there as well.
“He looks like a Derby player and I’m sure if promotion is achieved, he would love to stay at the club because he has that affinity.
“Jack Marriott’s impact in that Second Leg was impressive as well, and we know what kind of player he is, but they are young, modern, well-coached footballers.”