Centre back Liam Lindsay sealed a permanent move to former loan club Preston North End last night, ending speculation over his future.
25-year-old Lindsay, who has spent four years in England with a decent amount of experience in the Championship and League One, joined from Michael O’Neill’s Stoke City for an undisclosed fee after being loaned out to the Lilywhites in the second half of last season.
Frankie McAvoy took over from in late-March and from the 53-year-old has seen of Lindsay, the manager has decided to secure him on a permanent basis.
The defender could be joined very shortly by another former loanee in the shape of Sepp van den Berg, with the club closing in on another loan deal for the Liverpool defender according to the Lancashire Post.
But for now, it’s only Lindsay who has joined at this stage.
Let’s take a look at one winner and one loser at Preston North End with the deal now done and dusted.
Winner: Sepp van den Berg
He may not have joined just yet, but van den Berg is very close to linking up with his former teammates again in the Championship. The Dutchman played frequently alongside Lindsay in the latter stages of the campaign.
If the club fail to secure the right back signing they reportedly want, Lindsay’s signing could potentially push van den Berg out to the right, a position the former Liverpool loanee has said he enjoys.
However, if the club do succeed in getting a right back, it’s still unlikely that McAvoy will bench van den Berg, especially with Jurgen Klopp likely to be eager to see his young defender getting as many minutes as he can.
At centre back, his orthodox position before moving to Preston, he could show his class and with Liverpool suffering a major injury crisis at centre back last season, it just goes to show his Anfield chance may not be as far away as it seems.
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Loser: Paul Huntington
With Sepp van den Berg set to come in as mentioned, Preston have gone a long way in beefing up their defence.
They now have Lindsay, Andrew Hughes, Patrick Bauer, Jordan Storey and Paul Huntington all available to fill those three centre back slots – and the Dutch centre back will be another option if the deal gets over the line.
You have to wonder where this leaves 33-year-old Huntington, who may only be required if there are multiple injuries at centre half next season.
However, as a long servant of the club, making over 200 appearances in his nine years at Deepdale, fans will be hoping to see at least one more year of Huntington.
Thankfully for them, the experienced defender signed a new deal in December to keep him at the club until next summer.