This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Derby County’s Nathan Byrne has been linked with a move away from Pride Park this summer.
Here we ask our FLW writers their verdict on the potential for this signing at Deepdale.
Ryan Lowe has made no secret of his desire to add Championship experience to his squad this summer – that is something that Byrne has in abundance.
Lowe has also talked about wanting some more pace out of his wing-backs next season, and despite Byrne being nearly 30 years old, he still has that ability.
It’s not just pace Byrne has that would make him a good fit for North End – he is very good on the attacking side of play and an end product from the wing-backs was something that was really lacking from the Lilywhites in the second half of last season under Lowe.
All in all, Byrne would be a solid signing for PNE, but there’s likely going to be a lot of competition for his signature with Stoke City and Millwall also linked.
I think Nathan Byrne would suit the environment and atmosphere that Ryan Lowe is trying to create perfectly and would slot in as a right wing-back seamlessly at PNE.
Consistently displaying his attacking qualities during his career, he is just as competent defensively, proving to be excellent during one-on-one situations.
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He provides bundles of energy and quite frankly, he needs to be playing back in the Championship next season, with the mounting interest in him certainly justified.
Nowadays there are full-backs who do not operate well as a wing-back, however, Byrne is just as able in both those positions, offering Lowe some flexibility in that respect.
Wing-back recruitment is set to be important this season at Deepdale, with a move for Byrne certainly appearing to be a good one.
It seems clear that Ryan Lowe will continue operating with three at the back and wing backs next season at Deepdale.
Whether that suits Nathan Byrne at this stage of his career I am not so sure.
There is a chance that the 29-year-old could become an effective ball playing right centre back in the coming years, still possessing impressive speed for a defender, but that would be a risk for North End.
Lowe has tried to shoehorn central midfielders into wing back roles since arriving in the dugout, and Byrne would potentially provide an upgrade in that department, with a risk-free element being enticing with him available on a free transfer.
It is hard to predict how this transfer would go considering Byrne has played in a back four system this season, and has not ventured further forward in his positioning for some years now.
But on a free, it would be a decent pick-up if Lowe can find a spot for him.