sport

Gjokaj makes Derby loan return

Derby have recalled teenage defender Valentin Gjokaj from his loan spell at Carlisle.

Gjokaj joined the npower League One club last month on a deal until January 2, 2013 but the Rams have activated a clause in the agreement to bring him back to Pride Park ahead of schedule.

With Jake Buxton out until February with a cruciate ligament injury, Gjokaj will provide defensive cover behind fellow centre-backs Richard Keogh, Mark O'Brien and James O'Connor.

"We've decided to bring Val back into the fold over Christmas because we don't want to take any risks with regards to being short in defence," Derby boss Nigel Clough told his club's official website.

"He's had a good few weeks at Carlisle and being involved in their matchday squad will have been a great learning curve for him."

Gjokaj made just one appearance for Carlisle, coming off the bench at half-time in a FA Cup second-round defeat Bournemouth last month. He was an unused substitute for the rest of his time in Cumbria.

The 19-year-old will be available for selection when Derby host Hull on Friday evening. Don't miss any live and exclusive football coverage this festive season. Click to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar