This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Preston North End have recruited Cardiff City’s Josh Murphy on loan for the 2021/22 campaign, after seemingly being deemed surplus to requirements in Wales.
The 26-year-old first joined the Bluebirds back in 2018 for a fee believed to be in the region of £11m, becoming a regular for Mick McCarthy’s side despite not being able to save them from Premier League relegation during the 2018/19 campaign and making as many as 32 Championship appearances last term.
However, the winger has been limited to two Carabao Cup showings this season, failing to play a single minute of second-tier football in his parent club’s opening five league games in what now looks to be a bleak future for him in the Welsh capital.
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But Preston North End manager Frankie McAvoy, who worked with Murphy during their time together at Norwich City between 2015 and 2017, has come to the 26-year-old’s rescue and he will be hoping to fire the Lilywhites up the Championship table after a mixed start to the campaign.
His deal runs out in 2022, so there’s every chance he could sign a permanent contract at Deepdale if this move goes well and Cardiff opt not to engage in contract extension negotiations in the next 12 months.
Are the Bluebirds making a mistake in letting him go out on loan though? Or is this potentially a good decision to prevent the 26-year-old from becoming unhappy at the Cardiff City Stadium with the lack of game time he was likely to receive?
We asked three of our FLW writers for their verdicts on this situation from a Cardiff point of view.
I am surprised by Cardiff’s decision to let Josh Murphy depart this summer.
Yes, Ryan Giles has come in at left-wing and has made a flying start with his four assists in five games, but Murphy has so many exciting attributes that make him an excellent option at this level.
Cardiff have been criticised for being a little too one-dimensional thus far, and whilst I think that is a little harsh, they are seemingly becoming reliant on Giles and his pinpoint delivery from wide areas.
This is where having a player like Murphy, who can pick up the ball from deep and drive at a player, but can also stretch the player and look to get in behind, would come in very handy.
He can also operate on the other flank, whilst having the attacking intelligence and movement to play as a striker.
I’m a little surprised by it, I must admit.
Murphy looked set to leave under Neil Harris but then Mick McCarthy arrived and things were reassessed.
However, he’s not played much so far this season for the Bluebirds and McCarthy wouldn’t have sanctioned such an exit if he did not feel as though he wasn’t going to use the midfielder that much in the coming weeks and months.
I can understand Cardiff fans being a little bit confused and even disappointed by the news, though, as I think he still has lots of talent and plenty to give at this level but I guess their temporary loss is Preston North End’s temporary gain.
He’ll now obviously look to show exactly what he can do at Deepdale.
The fact that Cardiff are playing more with out-and-out wing-backs probably had a lot to do with the decision to send Murphy out on loan.
From that perspective it’s a good call from McCarthy and co, however they could miss him if they pick up injuries.
I still think he has something to offer for the Bluebirds but this move could spell the end of his career with his parent club.
Sadly, he couldn’t be accommodated into the current system and for that reason, it was best that he moved on.
It’ll be interesting to see if they regret their decision in the long run.