Preston North End have, after a number of tricky transfer windows, accumulated a large number of players and it has led to a rather bloated squad.
Frankie McAvoy will certainly be eyeing the winter transfer window then as a chance to clear out some of the deadwood at the side and an opportunity to replace bodies that are no longer needed with faces that can help his side climb back up the Championship table.
There are also a few players in the side who could benefit from a short stint away from Deepdale in search of some valuable first-team experience.
Who then, should make way in January for PNE?
Quiz: Do you know what club these 28 ex-Preston North End players are playing at now?
Rather than picking the usual suspects for North End like Connor Ripley or Joe Rafferty, one of the first orders of business should be getting some of their promising young talent some valuable experience.
O’Reilly has looked a decent prospect for a good few seasons now and so far when he has been sent out on various short-term stints, he has looked sharp.
The time is now then, to secure a move for the player where he can properly test himself, ideally in the EFL somewhere (or, if not, then in the Conference).
The midfielder is unlikely to get action for North End anytime soon, as midfield is the club’s current position of strength with the likes of Ryan Ledson, Ali McCann, Ben Whiteman and Alan Browne just four players able to feature there.
The best port of call then is to find O’Reilly somewhere where he can really strut his stuff and show what he is capable of at a higher level. So far, his loans have been to lower league outfits and over in Ireland. Now is the time to let him chance his arm a bit higher up in the football pyramid, so that he can get even more experience and come back to PNE an even better player – because he will be one the Lilywhites fans won’t want to see leave for a rival as Tyrhys Dolan did.
Josh Harrop has been really unfortunate during his time at Preston North End and there are likely to be fans of the club out there that still hope he can become an important player for them.
Right now though, he isn’t even getting in the squad for Preston.
With no prospect of gametime on the horizon at Deepdale, it would be a waste for the former Man United talent to spend the rest of the campaign sat on the sidelines doing nothing.
The winter window then should present the ideal time for the Lilywhites and Frankie McAvoy to decide just what they are going to do with him. If he can head into the turn of the year healthy and with no injuries, then a decision needs to be made.
Do they loan Harrop out and see if he can come back to PNE and make an impact for them? Do they see if he can handle regular football for another EFL side on a short-term basis? Or do they cut their losses completely and flog him to any interested party?
Whatever happens, something will need to be done in the winter window about Harrop – or it will be a waste of season for the player by the club.