Ben Pearson leaves Preston North End to sign for Bournemouth
Ben Pearson has ended his five-year stay with Preston North End and joined AFC Bournemouth for an undisclosed fee.
The 26-year-old midfielder was in the final few months of his PNE contract and had indicated he wanted a fresh challenge away from Deepdale.
He had signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the Cherries who sit sixth in the Championship and are looking to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
Oldham-born Pearson made 165 appearances for North End, scoring two goals, after joining them for £300,000 from Manchester United in January 2016.
United will get a cut of the fee having put a sell-on clause in the deal which brought Pearson to the Lilywhites.
Tough-tackling and a very good footballer, Pearson became a real fans' favourite in his time in Lancashire.
He did build-up a reputation for liking his yellow cards too much, so too a few reds, although his discipline improved in the last season or two.
It's been something of a long goodbye for Pearson this season.
A groin injury suffered in October kept him sidelined for a month, then he played only four more games before suffering ankle ligament damage against Wycombe on December 5.
Having recovered from that second injury, the contract situation came to a head and North End signed Ben Whiteman and Jayson Molumby to bolster the midfield positions.
Pearson wasn't selected in the matchday squad for the last three games and a January departure was somewhat expected.
It is somewhat disappointing that he has joined a fellow Championship side - PNE beat Bournemouth 3-2 at the Vitality Stadium on December 1.
Many supporters think he has the talent to play in the Premier League, although he might get that chance on the south coast.
Pearson will be back at Deepdale on March 6 when the Cherries play North End.
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