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Opinion: Preston North End should be monitoring Championship rivals’ 31-year-old ahead in case of Premier League club’s player decision



Daniel Iversen has stood out as one of Preston North End’s most impressive players again this season after performing well enough during the 2020/21 campaign to earn another move to Deepdale.

Being kept out of Brendan Rodgers’ plans by Danish and Welsh internationals Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Ward at Leicester City, he will no doubt be utilising this time to force his way back into contention at the King Power Stadium, and certainly hasn’t done his chances any harm thus far.

With one of his best performances of the campaign coming away in the Lilywhites’ 2-1 away victory against Middlesbrough this time last month, the 24-year-old has established a reputation of being able to win points for Preston on his own, not taking anything away from Ched Evans and Emil Riis who were the scorers that evening at the Riverside.

Quiz: Have Preston North End signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?

1 of 20

1. Barnsley

His performances may prove to be his current loan club’s downfall though, with Leicester scouts likely to be keeping a close eye on the ex-Denmark youth international’s progress as they weigh up whether his future lies in the East Midlands.

Rising Covid-19 cases may be a real game-changer for the shot-stopper’s situation though, with a side like the Foxes possibly eager to recall some of their loan stars to compensate for absences not just through injuries and suspensions, but now also through self-isolation periods with the virus severely disrupting fixtures across the English football pyramid in the past week or so.

Asked in November about whether the Premier League side had the option to recall Iversen during the January window, Lancashire Evening Post reporter Dave Seddon admitted he was unsure which won’t have gone a long way in reassuring Preston fans who will be desperate to keep him for the remainder of this campaign.

If Leicester do have that option at their disposal, all it would take is one big injury and perhaps a Covid absence to persuade them to bring the 24-year-old back to the King Power Stadium in what would be a severe blow to the second-tier side after seeing him remain as one of the first names on the teamsheet at Deepdale.

Declan Rudd and Connor Ripley are two decent options to have in his absence, but it almost feels as though they will need to fill that void left by Iversen’s potential departure because that would be a real blow to morale both to supporters and inside the Lancashire outfit’s camp.

Should that happen, Reading’s Rafael Cabral could also be another option to pursue, potentially being available for free within a matter of weeks with the Royals reported to be in negotiations with the Brazilian over terminating his contract at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

It remains to be seen whether the 31-year-old would remain in England if he was to depart Berkshire – but after studying so hard to learn the language when he first arrived back in 2019 and becoming accustomed to the Championship – he could be a suitable option for another second-tier side in Preston.

Establishing himself as Reading’s first-choice keeper for the first two years of his stay at the club, he has endured a mixed time at his current team having been exceptional in his first campaign there but making too many costly errors in the second as he seemingly had his confidence knocked.

Despite his errors, his first season at the Select Car Leasing Stadium should provide real hope for Preston supporters if he heads north, because he was the reliable keeper the Royals needed after seeing Joao Virginia make a disastrous start to the 2019/20 campaign, and Rafael rarely made mistakes back then.

It says a lot that he’s only been dropped recently due to an injury and not because of a loss of form, with the Brazilian suffering a hand injury after their 3-3 draw against Queens Park Rangers in September and Luke Southwood performing exceptionally well ever since.

The Northern Ireland international’s displays has left manager Veljko Paunovic with no choice but to leave Rafael on the bench – and with that – is now ‘close’ to leaving the club according to Ge Globo.

The main reason why his departure may come sooner than the summer, when his contract is due to run out, is down to the Royals’ need to cut costs to be able to stay within the financial restrictions set by the EFL as part of their agreed business plan.

A failure to meet this plan will result in a further points deduction for Paunovic’s side, so they will be eager to get some of their high earners off the wage bill now to escape that possible sanction.

On a free, the 31-year-old would be an immense signing for the Lilywhites and one well worth taking a gamble on.

His shot-stopping skills are excellent when he’s on form, his distribution is fine and he could adapt well to Lowe’s style of play, he has a decent amount of Championship experience under his belt and he may not demand too much if he wants to remain in England.

So if a sensible wage package can be negotiated, with Preston not exactly likely to break the bank for players next month, he is one option they should be looking at as part of their potential shortlist.

And if the 31-year-old comes in for free, that may allow Lowe to pursue and pull off other targets as he looks to stamp his authority on his new side, so that could be a shrewd bit of business to conduct.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Preston North End should be monitoring Championship rivals’ 31-year-old ahead in case of Premier League club’s player decision

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