PNE tracking former loan star

Marnick Vermijl
Marnick Vermijl
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Preston North End will monitor the situation of their former loanee Marnick Vermijl this summer, with a return to Deepdale a possibility.

The Belgian defender spent last season on loan with PNE from Sheffield Wednesday.

He made 23 starts and nine appearances from the bench, scoring twice.

Although at times Vermijl had to play second fiddle to Calum Woods at right-back or right wing-back, he still did enough to stay on North End’s radar in the close season.

For the time being, the 24-year-old is back on the Owls’ books and looks likely to start pre-season training with the beaten play-off finalists.

It is believed that Wednesday want a fee for Vermijl should they deem him surplus to requirements at Hillsborough.

Yet he has rarely featured in their colours since joining from Manchester United in February last year.

Vermijl played 11 games for them at the back end of the 2014/15 campaign before his loan switch to Deepdale on the eve of last season.

The player enjoyed his time with North End, with him getting decent runs of games in the first-team.

He took a little time to settle, although netted the winner in the Capital One Cup against Watford early in the season.

Vermijl got his first decent run in October, coming into the side at right wing-back when Woods moved into the centre of defence.

He stayed in the team until November, left out for the derby defeat to Blackburn at Deepdale – he came off the bench at half-time.

For the next eight games he was in the starting XI but then had a long spell as a substitute.

Vermijl came off the bench to set up North End’s winner for Eoin Doyle at Bolton on Gentry Day.

He netted his second goal for the club in the 2-1 defeat against Fulham in April.

When putting together squads, PNE manager Simon Grayson does look for versatility in a decent number of his squad.

As well as playing down the right, Vermijl can play on the left side at a push.

Grayson does have a few options on the right side.

Woods steadily established himself last season, with Tom Clarke also able to play at right-back, although he is more comfortable in the middle.

North End will have Chris Humphrey back in contention too this term.

Predominantly a winger, he has played the right wing-back role a number of times.

Humphrey missed most of last season with a stress fracture of his right shin bone, returning to the match day squad for the last game against Leeds United.

Another option at right-back is Liam Grimshaw.

While he was signed from Manchester United in January as a defensive midfielder, Grimshaw can operate in defence.

The 21-year-old has yet to play for North End, a knee injury detected during his medical requiring surgery.

He will be fit to start pre-season training at the end of the month.