As many questions as answers for Preston North End's transfer business with contracts still not sorted

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
For those players that are out of contract, up and down the country, this summer, there is only a week to go until they are free agents.

It’s rare that players who, at this stage of the summer, are wanted to be kept around are still undecided about their future but it seems that is the case for two on North End’s key midfielders looking ahead to next season.

Daniel Johnson and Josh Onomah have yet to finalise what the future holds, meanwhile three other out of contract players this summer have committed to the club again – ranging from six months to two years.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But with Greg Cunningham staying at Deepdale until at least the new year, Ben Woodburn having another year to go and Robbie Brady two – and no new signings so far aside from a relatively unproven loan signing who will join the club later on in the summer – there are plenty of questions going unanswered.

Preston North End's Joshua OnomahPreston North End's Joshua Onomah
Preston North End's Joshua Onomah

Losing one of Johnson or Onomah is something that the Lilywhites could probably deal, losing both of their most creative forces from the middle of midfield would cripple them. We did not see the best of Onomah last season either, showing glimpses of what he was capable of but not reaching full fitness to do it consistently.

It limits the planning for PNE in some respects, if one or both stay, that’s not an area of the team that needs addressing. If they both leave it is a chasm of creativity that will surely be near the top of the agenda.

Add on also that they need at least two strikers and that is a lot of attacking quality required in one summer, and that does not come cheap, particularly if they’re aiming for the play-offs.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Johnson has been an excellent servant during his time in PR1 and if the Jamaican simply decided he wanted a fresh challenge he is more than within his rights to just shake hands with the club and move on with the best wishes of everyone connected to the club.

Onomah’s short term deal was risk and reward, should he do well they may see him go, should he not have found any form there was no risk and they could try again with a different player.

If he does choose to leave, I don’t think it’s a poor reflection on PNE. Yes, there is talent there, but it was seen fleetingly after he got close to having match fitness and they covered their own back with the short term deal. There is no guarantee he goes elsewhere, particularly with some pre-seasons having already started, and tears it up.

Regardless, there are holes in the current squad that need filling – the previously mentioned striking problem, with no fit forwards currently at the club, and a gap at left wing back – but how much of a priority they are, or prove to be, may be down to who decides to leave in the meantime.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They will of course also be waiting on Premier League pre-seasons too, to see who impresses enough to stay around the squads or who will be allowed to depart. It will be a waiting game for sure but at the moment there have been as many questions as answers as to what the future looks like going into 23/24 for PNE.