PNE in Numbers: Big buy Ben Whiteman's bounced back from rejection by Man Utd

Preston North End new boy Ben Whiteman says being released by Manchester United as a youngster helped make him more determined to succeed in the professional game.
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United fan Whiteman was with the Red Devils academy for a number of years, Josh Harrop in his age group there.

He went on to sign for Sheffield United, from there going on loan to Mansfield and Doncaster, before moving to the Keepmoat Stadium full time.

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It was from Rovers who PNE signed the 24-year-old this week in a £1.5m deal.

Ben Whiteman in action for Doncaster RoversBen Whiteman in action for Doncaster Rovers
Ben Whiteman in action for Doncaster Rovers

Whiteman said: “It was at United for seven or eight years, I was in the same team as Josh Harrop.

“I loved my time there and it got to the time of a difficult decision when I was released.

“I’m a United fan and I didn’t take being released well. But stuff like that helped mould me into the player I am today.”

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How close Whiteman is to being North End’s record signing is hard to fathom with the ‘undisclosed’ nature of transfer fees in the EFL.

David Healy is still seen as PNE’s record buy, that move coming back way back in January 2001 from Manchester United.

His move was for £1.5m but there were add-ons in the deal to potentially take that fee up to £1.8m.

Whether the additional payments were ever needed to be paid, is not known.

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Brad Potts and Tom Bayliss both moved to North End for around the £1.5m mark.

It has been reported in Doncaster that Whiteman’s deal could stretch beyond £1.5m, although it’s not clear if that is with add-ons or a straight payment.

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