Preston North End may be struggling in the league currently but they do have a squad that contains a selection of talent and a few diamonds in the rough.
Their midfield is arguably their biggest asset right now, with several central midfielders catching the eye for them.
Ben Whiteman was poached from Doncaster and has continued to shine a league higher, while Ryan Ledson has grown into one of PNE’s most important players and is still only 24.
In the summer, they also added the impressive Ali McCann who has already caught the eye and looked an extremely solid purchase in the little time he has played for the Lilywhites so far.
With a squad containing some decent players then – and some that could likely be picked up for relatively cheap in January due to some contracts expiring – which Preston players could garner some interest in January then?
Quiz: Do you know what club these 28 ex-Preston North End players are playing at now?
Of all the players currently plying their trade in a North End shirt, Barkhuizen looks the likeliest to either generate a bit of interest or be sold on in the winter transfer window.
The attacker has been an important feature in the PNE squad since his move from Morecambe back in 2016/17. He’s since racked up nearly 200 games for the side and has readily provided both goals and assists along the way for the Lilywhites.
The 28-year-old is out of contract though in the summer and there is no sign of a new deal for the player yet and with the former Blackpool unafraid to speak his mind in press conferences – as noted by LancsLive last week – and with the attacker unable to feature much in the side right now, could it lead to him being allowed to leave?
Frankie McAvoy is currently operating with wing-backs and Barkhuizen has faltered in that system, preferring to play as either a striker or in his preferred role as a winger. With that and a case of COVID-19, Barkhuizen has struggled to both retain his starting berth this campaign and make a mark on the side when given the chance to shine.
There is no doubt about his ability as a player and as a goalscorer and there is bound to be interest in him if he looks available. Any other side in the Championship would benefit from adding him to their squad and, given the chance in his main role, he would no doubt thrive and produce on a regular basis.
PNE fans won’t want to see him leave but if he doesn’t pen a new deal soon, then there could certainly be clubs sniffing around him in the winter window.
Patrick Bauer is another player who could find himself the subject of interest from a number of EFL sides due to his current contract situation.
The German’s current deal runs out at the end of the season and, despite a large number of commanding performances in the centre of defence for Preston this year, he has yet to agree on an extension.
It has Lilywhites’ fans worried that he could end up being snagged by a divisional rival in the winter transfer window – and if they did manage to sign him up, they’d be getting an extremely solid defender.
He’s already proven his mettle with Charlton and he has continued to be a central figure for Preston. His return to their defence this season has been a welcome boost after a season-long injury in the last campaign. They won’t want to lose him again – but if they can’t get him tied up to fresh terms, then it would be no surprise to see other clubs sniffing around him in January and trying to prise him away from Deepdale.