Winning the race for Aston Villa striker Cameron Archer represents a fantastic bit of business for Preston North End but that Steven Gerrard’s close relationship with Ryan Lowe was key to the deal is potentially even more exciting.
There was no shortage of EFL interest in the 20-year-old, with the Daily Mail reporting that Charlton Athletic, Derby County, Lincoln City, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland, and Portsmouth were all among the clubs keen.
It’s certainly no surprise that so many clubs were interested as Archer’s goalscoring record this season is exemplary.
He’s scored eight goals in seven games for the U23s this term, including six in the Papa John’s Trophy against EFL clubs, while he’s also bagged four in five games for the senior side.
That Gerrard was considering keeping him around the first team for the second half of the season speaks to just what an exciting talent he is – an exciting talent that will pull on a Lilywhite shirt for the rest of the 2021/22 campaign.
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According to talkSPORT’s Alex Crook, it was the Villa boss’ close relationship with Lowe that helped North End battle off significant competition and win the race for him.
The two came through the Liverpool youth system at the same time and clearly, the Preston manager wasn’t afraid to capitalise on that to ensure that Archer joined his club on loan.
Assuming this loan spell goes well, there’s no reason to suggest we won’t see it become a regularly trodden path and that could be massive for the Deepdale’s outfits hopes of success over the next few seasons.
If Lowe can make Preston into a preferred destination for Villa when they’re looking to loan out players it would give them an advantage in the transfer market and a regular access to a level of talent that they might not otherwise be able to afford.
Landing Archer is exciting enough as it is but the Gerrard/Lowe relationship could mean there is plenty more to come in future windows.