Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe has revealed that Cameron Archer wants to return to Deepdale on loan – if Steven Gerrard decides that he will not be in the Aston Villa first-team squad next season.
The 20-year-old striker has been in fine form in his first half-season in the Championship, scoring seven goals from 20 appearances in his first spell in the EFL.
Gerrard allowed the youngster out on loan to North End in January after he scored on a regular basis for Villa’s under-23’s in the first half of the season, as well as for the senior side in the EFL Cup against Barrow and Chelsea.
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Archer has flourished at Deepdale and has formed a partnership with prolific Dane Emil Riis, setting him up on the final day of the 2021-22 season against Middlesbrough in a 4-1 victory, before then striking a goal-bound shot which was handled on the line by Paddy McNair.
Many North End fans were resigned to Archer not coming back to Deepdale next season, with other Championship teams potentially interested and Gerrard wanting to take a look at the striker in pre-season as well.
Lowe though has offered some fresh hope to PNE supporters in the event that Gerrard decides that Archer needs more time out on loan.
“I spoke to Cam on Friday about his stay, how well he’s done and how good he’s been and everything else,” Lowe said, per LancsLive.
“If he becomes available, he’s basically told me there’s only one place he’d like to go and that’s back here – so that is a big plus for us.”
If North End were to get Archer back at Deepdale for a full season then that would be a major boost.
It would have been easy for him to be overawed by playing football week in, week out at a senior level for the first time ever, but Archer has transitioned to it easily and become a fan favourite at North End.
With Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings currently the options at Aston Villa, it may be difficult for Archer to get a chance next season despite the promise he’s shown in the Championship.
His claim though that PNE are the only club he wants to go to if he gets the nod to go on loan again though is massive and Lowe’s friendship with Gerrard should mean that a deal will be struck easily – but nothing is ever quite that simple in football.