3 Preston North End players whose careers are at a real crossroads
Preston North End has aspirations of making it to the Premier League for the first time in their history, and they will be inspired by the likes of Luton Town and Huddersfield Town who have made it to play-off finals in the last two seasons on smaller budgets.
The Lilywhites are going into their ninth consecutive campaign in the Championship and they always seem to finish in the mid-table area, even like the 2022-23 campaign when they threatened to finish in the top six with five matches to go, only to fall away,
Manager Ryan Lowe needs to strengthen his squad and whether he gets the tools to do that remains to be seen, but there are several players within his current crop of players that may be considering their futures at Deepdale this summer and going forward.
Let’s take a look at three individuals whose careers at Deepdale could be heading towards a real crossroads in the weeks and months to come…
There are quite a few contracts expiring next summer at PNE – one of those being Whiteman.
The 27-year-old signed a three-and-a-half year deal when arriving from Doncaster Rovers in January 2021, and he admitted back in late April that there had been no talks just yet in regards to extending his time at Deepdale.
PNE want to extend his contract but Sunday Mirror editor Darren Witcoop has suggested that there is interest in Whiteman’s services from elsewhere, so he will need to decide whether he wants to continue his time in Lancashire or hold out for a move elsewhere.
Another player with a year left to run on his contract is Bauer, who rarely featured for PNE under Ryan Lowe last season.
The German centre-back palyed just six Championship matches for the Lilywhites as Liam Lindsay was favoured in the middle of a back three, and with Bambo Diaby also being selected ahead of him, his time could be up.
It wouldn’t be a shock to see Bauer seek pastures new at the age of 30, whether that is in the UK or back in his native Germany.
One long-serving PNE player in the form of Daniel Johnson looks likely to depart this summer after eight-and-a-half years at the club, and that will leave Alan Browne as the only player remaining from the club’s 2015 promotion from League One.
Browne arrived at PNE in January 2014, meaning when the year 2024 arrives he is due a testimonial at Deepdale for his 10 years of service.
Having seen North End not really push on though in recent years, could he look to move on next summer on a free transfer at the age of 29 for a new challenge?
He is a full Republic of Ireland international so has that to consider as well, so with 12 months remaining on his contract there’s a lot to think about when it comes to Browne’s future, although out of any player with an expiring deal in 2024 you’d expect him to be the most likely to renew.