Preston North End newcomer Lukas Nmecha impressed with how Alex Neil persuaded him to move to Deepdale

Preston North End new boy Lukas Nmecha found Alex Neil to be a very good salesman when he was deciding who to join on loan last week.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 13th August 2018, 4:17 pm
Updated Monday, 13th August 2018, 5:18 pm
Lukas Nmecha during his Preston debut at Swansea
Lukas Nmecha during his Preston debut at Swansea

Manchester City left the 19-year-old striker to make his own mind up on where he wanted to play this season.

North End were one of a clutch of clubs in for him and might have been considered the underdog in the chase to start with.

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Lukas Nmecha during his Preston debut at Swansea

But PNE manager Neil certainly did a good job in persuading Nmecha that Deepdale was the best place for him in 2018/19.

Nmecha, who has joined on a season’s loan, said: “When I met Alex Neil he explained to me how the team played and that I would get game time which is the important thing at my age.

“He told me about how close the lads are here, the togetherness.

“I’d watched a lot of clips of Preston’s games from last season, I watched clips of the West Ham friendly during the pre-season.

Preston manager Alex Neil

“Before I went to talk to the manager, Preston wasn’t really the first club I was thinking about going to.

“When I had a chat with him it all sort of clicked. He did a good job selling me the place.

“City left it up to me and they have been great with that.

“They let me make my own decision and this is my decision to.

Lukas Nmecha and Callum Robinson

“I’m going to stand by that and give everything I can to the team.”

Nmecha has been on City’s books since Under-10s level.

He had not long been in England, his family having moved from Germany.

“I was born in Hamburg and my family came here when I was nine,” said Nmecha who is in the North End squad for Tuesday night's League Cup clash with Morecambe at Deepdale.

Lukas Nmecha

“It was three or four months after we moved that I went to City at Under-10s.

“In Germany I wasn’t with a club, I used to play football in the park.”

Nmecha put pen to paper on his loan move to North End on Thursday morning.

He trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Friday morning and was straight into the starting XI at Swansea on Saturday.

In line with the majority of the PNE players, Nmecha didn’t really get into the game in the first half.

But he was part of a much improved display after the break, Nmecha twice going close with efforts as North End pushed for an equaliser.

Lukas Nmecha in Manchester City colours

Reflecting on events at the Liberty Stadium, Nmecha said: “The first half wasn’t great, we didn’t play well, we didn’t get on the ball enough.

“In the second half we came out and played a lot better.

“We probably should have got something out of the game but that is sometimes how it goes.

“I thought we got the ball a lot more in the second half, looked more comfortable.

“I had a chance which I should have put away and we created a lot more.

“Before the game I had the one training session and it was straight in.

“There are still a lot of things I need to learn and the lads need to learn how I play.

“All the lads have been great, I already feel settled.

“There are a few lads here who live in Manchester so we are travelling together which makes things easier.”

Nmecha broke into the first-team squad at City part way through last season.

His debut came in the League Cup against Leicester last December.

Then he came on twice as a substitute in league games against West Ham United and Brighton after City had wrapped up the Premier League title.

Said Nmecha: “I joined the first-team squad at City about half way through last season.

“In the summer I went on the tour to the United States and played against Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund.

“I scored against Bayern Munich which was great.

“To be honest, I felt quite comfortable in those games.

“But I probably learned more from playing against Swansea than I did in all those other games.

“When you are coming through the ranks at a club, your focus is on development.

“When you get to first-team level it is just about winning.

“You have to sometimes find a way of grinding your way through games even when things aren’t going your way.

“You keep working, you keep running off the ball.”

North End made their move for Nmecha to cover the loss of Sean Maguire.

He was the second City player to make the move to Deepdale in the space of 48 hours, following hot on the heels of Brandon Barker.

With Barker having been on loan previously at Hibernian and NAC Breda, Nmecha has not played with him a great deal in the City age groups.

Said Nmecha: “Brandon is two years above me.

“I played up age groups a few times but was probably only in a team with him six or seven times. He’s been on loan before.”