After a turbulent January transfer window just a few months ago, Preston North End could be set for another re-build this summer.
The club won’t have wanted the start of 2021 to have gone down the way it did, but due to contract situations the club allowed to happen, it was necessary for eight new players to come through the entrance at Deepdale.
The same number departed, with key players such as Ben Pearson, Ben Davies and Darnell Fisher moving on to pastures new with their contracts expiring at the end of the season.
North End did spend some money by capturing highly-rated Doncaster midfielder Ben Whiteman, but the majority of their business was done in the loan market, bringing in no less than seven temporary signings before the window closed.
Due to only being allowed five loanees in a matchday squad, PNE had to do some business in the days following the window closure to turn two of them into permanent deals until the end of the season – those being Ched Evans and Greg Cunningham.
One January acquisition has stood tall from the rest though – both in height and performance levels – and that is Daniel Iversen.
Due to a knee injury to regular first-choice stopper Declan Rudd, North End had to make an unexpected move in the market and they fell on Leicester stopper Iversen, who had spent the first half-season on loan at the Foxes’ Belgian feeder club OH Leuven.
Iversen had lost his place in the team so jumped upon the chance to get some regular minutes once again, and it meant he was to re-unite with goalkeeping coach Mike Pollitt, who coached him at Rotherham.
If you don’t get at least 15/20 on this Preston North End midfielder quiz, can you really call yourself a Lilywhites fan?
Other signings such as Evans, Sepp van den Berg and Whiteman have impressed in some games but North End always seem to be relying on Iversen to keep them in games – including a world-class one against rivals Blackburn with the game at 2-1 to North End.
🇩🇰 Every angle of that incredible save from Daniel Iversen last night! 🤩
— Preston North End FC (@pnefc) February 13, 2021
From a statistics point of view, Iversen faces 3.86 shots on target per game (Wyscout) thanks to a leaky North End defence, although the Dane has kept four clean sheets during his time at the club.
One of Iversen’s biggest assets is his reflexes, and the stats show that he makes 2.74 reflex saves per game since arriving at Deepdale (Wyscout), and if you’re a PNE fan reading this then that will come as no surprise.
After having knee surgery, Rudd should be back to full fitness for pre-season, but will he still have a spot in the team by then?
North End should and probably will do all they can to keep Iversen for a full season due to the performances he’s been putting in, and that could mean a titanic tussle between two good Championship goalkeepers for a starting spot.
There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition for a jersey but right now you’d probably have Iversen ahead of Rudd due to how impressive has been – and PNE fans will be begging their hierarchy to sign him up for 2021/22 on another loan deal.