PNE to land winger Barkhuizen

PNE's new signing Tom Barkhuizen
PNE's new signing Tom Barkhuizen
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Preston North End have agreed to sign former Morecambe winger Tom Barkhuizen.

The 23-year-old, who left the Shrimps last week, has signed a pre-contract agreement at Deepdale and will be eligible to play from January 2.

North End and Morecambe have struck a compensation deal, the League Two club having retained their right to claim training compensation when cancelling his contract by mutual consent.

Barkhuizen said: "I'm really excited about this, obviously I can't play until January but I will get myself right and ready for the first game I can play in.

"Not being able to play until January could work in my favour really because it usually takes a few weeks to settle in anyway.

"I think the January transfer window is an awkward time to move as is it, so I'll have that settling-in period now, get used to how the lads play and how the team play.

"Over the last 18 months at Morecambe getting regular game time, I feel I have improved as a player massively, my all-round game has improved.

"Hopefully this time back in the Championship I will be able to show that I'm a better player than when I left the division when I was 20.

"This is an exciting challenge for me."

Barkhuizen started his career as a trainee at Blackpool, where he worked under Steve Thompson who is now PNE's first-team coach.

He gained first-team experience during loan spells with Hereford United and Fleetwood Town, returning to play Championship football with the Seasiders.

In October 2014, Barkhuizen joined Morecambe on a month's loan, before signing for them permanently in May the following year.

He scored against North End for the Shrimps in July's pre-season friendly at the Globe Arena.

North End boss Simon Grayson said: "We watched Tom a lot over the last few weeks and months, while Thommo worked with him previously at Blackpool.

"He impressed us when we played against Morecambe in pre-season.

"The lad is quick, flexible, has a lot of energy and an eye for goal.

"He has signed a pre-contract agreement to join in January and will be able to train with us for the next couple of months."

Barkhuizen has agreed a two-and-a-half year contract which will take effect from January 1.