Derby County have added experienced central defender Curtis Nelson to their ranks.

Nelson, who recently turned 30, has joined Derby as a free agent on a two-year deal which will run until the summer of 2025.

The centre-back joins the Rams following four successive seasons in the Sky Bet Championship with Cardiff City and later Blackpool.

Nelson arrives in Derby with more than 500 appearances in club football under his belt and significant experience across the EFL’s three divisions.

He is the Rams’ fourth summer signing following the recent additions of Joe Ward, Josh Vickers and Callum Elder.

Curtis Nelson In Profile

Staffordshire-born Nelson was on the books of Stoke City growing up, before he made the move to Plymouth Argyle in 2008.

After impressing at youth level with the Pilgrims, Nelson eventually made his debut in an EFL Cup clash with Notts County in August 2010.

He went on to play 38 times across the 2010/11 season as he established himself on the first-team scene and, despite their relegation from League One, won Argyle’s Young Player of the Season award.

During his time with Plymouth he also captained the side, becoming the youngest person to wear the armband for the Home Park outfit since Norman Piper in August 1967 when he took on the responsibility in April 2013.

He was named in the League Two Team of the Season for the 2015/16 campaign as Argyle reached the Play-Off Final, but they were beaten 2-0 by AFC Wimbledon at Wembley Stadium, having fallen short in the Semi-Finals against Wycombe Wanderers in the previous season.

In the summer of 2016 and out of contract, although a fee was later decided by a tribunal, Nelson left Plymouth after making almost 250 appearances, and scoring nine goals, to sign for Oxford United.

Nelson spent three seasons with Oxford in League One, during which he made 121 appearances and scored eight times, while he also wore the captain’s armband on several occasions. He was part of the U’s side that reached the EFL Trophy Final in 2016/17 as they went down 2-1 to Coventry City at Wembley.

The defender’s next stop was Cardiff City in the summer of 2019 as he made the step up to the Championship as a free agent. In three and a half seasons with the Bluebirds he played 127 times and scored three goals, once again donning the captain’s armband. He also played a key role in Cardiff reaching the Play-Offs in the 2019/20 season but they were narrowly edged out by eventual winners Fulham in the Semi-Finals.

Nelson joined fellow Championship side Blackpool in January 2023 after leaving Cardiff and he played 18 times and scored once for the Tangerines as they battled to avoid the drop back to the third tier.

On the international stage, Nelson gained a single England Under-18 cap in 2011 after coming off the bench in a 1-1 draw against Italy.