Preston North End are set to face a very important summer in which they will have to make key decisions that will affect the direction the Lilywhites are going to be heading in.
It has been a very challenging campaign for Preston and the Lilywhites have failed to kick on and challenge for a play-off place this term. That saw the club part company with Alex Neil last month with the club in a disappointing 16th place in the table. Frankie McAvoy has taken over until the end of the campaign and picked up four points from his first two games, but lost 5-0 to Brentford on Saturday.
The Lilywhites need to decide on who is going to be their new manager for next term, and then they need to continue the rebuild job of their squad that started in January. They will need to bring in the right sort of players to help improve the squad and also sort out the long-term futures of a couple who have been struggling to make an impact.
With that in mind, we take a look at TWO Preston players who will likely want an exit from Deepdale this summer…
One player who you feel needs to secure an exit from Deepdale this summer for his career development is midfielder Tom Bayliss. The 22-year-old arrived at Preston in the summer of 2019 from Coventry City for a seven-figure transfer fee. It was hoped when he arrived he could be a star of the future and be a player to build a side around over the next few years.
However, it has been a real struggle for Bayliss ever since his arrival at Preston, partly down to the Lilywhites having a lot of strong options to choose from in the midfield area during his time at Deepdale. Neil never really seemed to fully trust the 22-year-old and he only handed him one Championship appearance in the whole of last term, which came from the bench against Bristol City.
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Bayliss has been handed eight appearances in the league this term, but just one of those has been from the start and he has not been able to force his way into contention anymore since McAvoy took over from Neil. It seems like the midfielder needs to move on from Deepdale in the summer to get his career back on track and find the regular game time which he desperately needs.
In many respects, this one could all come down to who takes over as Preston’s new manager in the summer, but Jayden Stockley will be wanting to be assured of regular first-team starts if he is going to want to stick around at Deepdale. That comes after he was allowed to move out on loan by Neil in the January transfer window to League One Charlton Athletic.
Stockley has been a strong performer for the Addicks during his loan spell with the club, and he has fired in five goals and provided one assist in 15 League One appearances so far. The forward has already indicated that he has been keen to use the loan move to put himself out there and remind people of his qualities. That came after seeing his involvement at Preston be limited in the first half of this term.
It had been suggested that he will have talks with Preston over his future in the summer, but if he is not assured of more regular game time then he is likely to be wanting to find a new home. Given his impact with Charlton, there would likely be at least one or two clubs keen to take him.