Preston North End’s preparations for the 2021-22 Championship season took a bit of a hit this week when the Lilywhites went down 1-0 to League One side Bolton Wanderers.
In truth the side that played the majority of the match will not be on the pitch when PNE step onto the Deepdale turf on August 7 against Hull City – many fans will be able to forget such a display and instead take the positives from the past week after they defeated Celtic on Saturday.
There’s been other setbacks though which could force North End to do more business than they had planned to do in this transfer window – let’s look at the latest news coming out of the club this week.
Brown injury could force PNE into activity
After so many loan spells in his career, Izzy Brown finally found a permanent home last month when he signed for North End following his release from Chelsea.
But Brown’s 2021-22 campaign has been curtailed before it has even begun after rupturing his right achilles in a non-contact incident at PNE’s Euxton training base – it isn’t the first long-term injury of the 24-year-old’s career either having suffered an ACL injury back in 2018 whilst at Brighton.
Brown being on the sidelines for most of the upcoming season may now force North End into the transfer market, with Dave Seddon hinting at the club doing such a thing, per the Lancashire Post, to replace the versatility in attacking areas that Brown would have brought for most of the season.
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PNE face big battle for Delap
LancsLive reported a few days ago that a player firmly on the radar of North End this summer is Man City wonderkid Liam Delap, who scored 24 times for the club’s under-23 side in 20 matches last season.
The 18-year-old could play against PNE in a friendly against City’s first-team next week and that could give both clubs a chance to talk about a deal – but according to the Manchester Evening News they face the stiffest of competition.
No fewer than five other Championship sides are looking at Delap this summer – they are West Brom, Stoke City, Millwall, Birmingham City and a side Delap represented at academy level in Derby County.
North End could find a deal tough to get over the line against that kind of competition but they’ll be hoping their nurturing of Lukas Nmecha from the same club a few years ago will put them in pole position.
New contract talks for Potts
It isn’t just new signings or sales that PNE are looking at this summer as the contracts of no doubt several squad members will be looked at.
According to FLW’s sources, the Lilywhites hierarchy are in dialogue with midfielder Brad Potts over an extension to his current contract, which expires next summer.
A January 2019 signing from Barnsley, Potts scored five times last season from an advanced midfield or winger role and the 27-year-old could be set to extend his stay at Deepdale for the foreseeable future.