PNE new boy's on the up
Josh Harrop sees Preston as the right club at which to keep moving his career in the right direction after finishing on a '˜high' at Manchester United.
The 21-year-old’s move from Old Trafford to Deepdale was completed yesterday, his arrival a real coup for PNE.
He has signed a four-year contract, a deal longer than any handed out by North End for quite a while.
Midfielder Harrop made a name for himself on the final day of last season when he scored on his United debut against Crystal Palace.
For that game, United boss Jose Mourinho had rested most of the first team ready for the Europa League final.
The temptation might have been for Harrop to stop at Old Trafford and sign the new deal they offered him.
But further first-team chances would have been few and far between and Harrop decided it was time to move on, the path from United to PNE quite a well trodden one down the years.
Harrop said: “I left on a high, a dream I had since I was young came true and now I am moving forward.
“I am here now and I am delighted to be here and I will take every step as it comes and do the best that I can.
“I’m 21 and I’m confident in myself – I need to play first-team football to get myself out there.
“ That wasn’t guaranteed at United and even though they offered me a new contract it was very limited in game-time and so I couldn’t take that risk at my age.
“I need to be out there, proving myself and doing what I know I’m capable of.
“It’s a big thing for me to leave United after the number of years I have been there, but I am confident in my ability and know it’s the right decision.”
North End had watched Harrop before his final-day heroics, after he had come through the United ranks in the same age group as Ben Pearson.
Much of the deal with him was agreed a couple of weeks ago but the final paperwork was only competed in the last few days.
While the midfielder was out of contract with United, because they offered him a new deal and as he is under 24, they were entitled to a fee.
The compensation figure has not been disclosed but is understood to be significant.
Harrop will have former United team-mates Pearson, Liam Grimshaw and Marnick Vermijl for company at PNE.
He also played alongside Callum Robinson in England’s Under-20s squad.
Said Harrop: “The club has shown the love towards me and shown how much they want me and that’s always a big thing, to come to a place where you know you are wanted.
“I know a few of the lads, I’m coming in knowing I already have friends here.”