This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player view’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer an opinion-based outlook on the perspective on the situation at hand…
Preston North End have made an impressive start to the 2019/20 campaign and currently sit second in the Championship, two points back from league leaders West Bromwich Albion.
There must’ve been some concern when Preston saw star forward Callum Robinson, who contributed 13 goals and four assists last season, depart for Premier League new boys Sheffield United in the summer but that has appeared to have little impact so far.
Alex Neil’s side are the highest scorers in the Championship this season, having found the net 27 times in 14 games.
If Rudd in January leaves what should the club do?
Buy another keeper
They have been pretty strong defensively as well, with only six sides conceding fewer goals than them in the 2019/20 campaign.
It appears to be players on that side of the ball rather than the attacking unit that have caught the attention of bigger clubs.
While, according to Football Insider, Rangers are planning to make a move for goalkeeper Declan Rudd in January.
The 28-year-old has been integral for Neil’s side this season, starting every game and keeping three clean sheets so far.
However, the English shot-stopper’s contract is set to expire next summer and it is understood that Rangers believe they may be able to sign him for a reduced fee in January or agree a pre-contract with him to join next season.
Steven Gerrard’s side’s interest will no doubt be a concern for Preston and fans of the North West club, but one man who may be particularly affected by the news is Connor Ripley.
The 26-year-old has served as Rudd’s back up since joining in January but could be thrust into the limelight if the Scottish giants secure a move for Preston’s first-choice shot-stopper when the transfer window opens at the turn of the year.
Ripley has struggled to hold a long-term starting spot down at one club, having spent much of his career out on loan.
Should Rudd opt to join Rangers in January, Ripley would surely be Preston’s first-choice and will no doubt be looking to prove that he has what it takes to succeed at that level.
Ripley developed through the Middlesbrough academy and spent ten years at the North East club without ever being given a proper chance as the first-choice shot-stopper.
He could be set to be handed just that role at Preston and for a side that looks set to be competing for promotion to the Premier League this season.
Having spent much of his career bouncing around clubs and as a back-up, the chance of a long-term starting role is huge for Ripley and is an opportunity that he has to grab with both hands if it is presented to him.