Nyambe returns to English Championship

Ryan Nyambe celebrates with his family after his club side Derby County secured promotion to the English Championship. X (Twitter)

Namibian international Ryan Nyambe will be playing in English football’s second-tier division next season after helping Derby County win promotion from League One. 
Needing only a draw against Carlisle United, the division’s bottom side, to end their two-year stay in League One, Derby sealed their promotion with a 2-0 courtesy of goals from Max Bird and James Collins.
Nyambe missed Saturday’s match through injury but was a key figure for their promotion push. 
He journey aligns with the Rams redemption and renaissance narrative, after the club teetered on the brink of oblivion when they were relegated from the Championship while in administration in 2022. 

The versatile defender, who was at a crossroads in his career, made 20 appearances for the Rams since joining the club as a free agent in September, bolstering head coach Paul Warne’s defensive options. 

“Special club,” Nyambe wrote on his X account as he posted celebratory images. 

He initially joined Derby on a short contract until January 2024 but his assured performances convinced the club to extend his stay until the end of the 2024/25 season.

A veteran of two Africa Cup of Nations campaigns with the Brave Warriors, including the recent historic run to the knockout phase for the first time in Ivory Coast, Nyambe joined Derby with almost 250 appearances to his name in his professional career in English football following spells with both Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic.

He joined the Rams as a free agent after leaving Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2023. Since his arrival, Nyambe quickly established himself as a regular in the side and a popular figure with supporters.
“He has been brilliant for us and when he has been fit he has played pretty much every minute,” Warne said when commenting on the decision to extend Nyambe’s contract.
“He’s settled into the group really well and is a great human being within the dressing room, while he’s also produced some impressive performances and I hope the fans can see why I wanted to sign him.”


Returning to the Championship was not easy, following a slow start to the season, the BBC reported. 
It was not until the final week of November – 17 games into the campaign – that Derby edged their way into the play-off spots for the first time

At that time, a section of supporters called for Warne’s exit and captain Conor Hourihane confronted dissenting fans after a particularly chastening defeat at Shrewsbury.

A surge in form between late October and mid-February, which saw the Rams win 14 of their 19 league games, moved them up to second – breaking into the automatic promotion spots.

And there they have finished, clinging on to seal their Championship return ahead of Bolton, who have been consigned to the play-offs.

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