Ex-Chelsea man challenged to prove himself at Preston North End

Izzy Brown rediscovering his self-belief will be key to developing further as a player at Preston North End.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 8:00 am

That is the view of Frankie McAvoy after the 24-year-old became PNE’s third signing of the summer.

Brown, who was released by Chelsea last month, has agreed a one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.

That option is weighted in North End’s favour, the initial deal very much a ‘prove yourself’ one.

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Izzy Brown has joined Preston North End after leaving Chelsea (photo: PNE FC)

Like many young players at Premier League clubs, Brown has gone down the loan path in pursuit of game time.

Chelsea loaned him out seven times, six times in this country after a spell in Holland with Vitesse Arnhem.

North End head coach McAvoy is looking forward to working with Brown who provides a variety of options going forward,

McAvoy said: “Izzy has had quite a few loans over his time, some he’s done well, others maybe latterly not done as well as he hoped, so he just needs to find that self-belief again and confidence.

“ But we’re certainly getting a player with undoubted talent, very offensive and we’re looking forward to working with him.

“He can play across the front but probably his preferred position is a ‘10’ behind a striker or two, depending on how we play.

“Izzy can also play in pockets off right and left, so he adds that bit of versatility to our front players.

“I think if we can get him up and running, believing in himself, being confident in his own ability then I’m sure he’ll endear himself to the Preston faithful.”

A deal for Brown has been in the offing for a few weeks, with North End contacted about his availability when Chelsea decided to release him after eight years at Stamford Bridge.

Brown met McAvoy on the head coach’s return from a short holiday and the deal was concluded yesterday once he had undergone a medical.

His stand-out loan came in the second half of the 2016/17 campaign when he helped Huddersfield to promotion to the Premier League.

Brown started 15 games, and scored four goals for the Terriers in that spell.

In the first half of the same season he played frequently for Rotherham.

He has also served Leeds, Brighton, Luton and latterly Sheffield Wednesday on loan.

Brighton provided him with Premier League football in the 2017/18 season, with him starting four games and coming off the bench on nine occasions.

Brown joins Liam Lindsay and Sepp van den Berg in the Deepdale arrivals’ lounge, with North End also close to a loan deal for Daniel Iversen.