End in sight to Ben Pringle’s North End nightmare

Midfielder Ben Pringle
Midfielder Ben Pringle

Preston have received some interest in midfielder Ben Pringle who is free to leave Deepdale this summer.

It is understood that a club in League One have enquired about the 28-year-old, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Oldham.

Pringle’s time with PNE has just not worked out as anticipated.

His arrival from Fulham in July 2016 was heralded as a major signing that summer.

He started five of the first six games of the 2016/17 season but then had a spell out of the team.

Pringle returned to the team for a run of five starts in October and November 2016 .

But a start in a 3-1 victory at former club Rotherham was the last time he made the XI.

His last appearance in a competitive game for North End was as a second-half sub in the 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest in December 2016.

When Alex Neil took over as Preston boss last July, he ran the rule over Pringle in the pre-season friendlies.

But others were ahead of him in the pecking order and a first-team opportunity failed to materialise.

He chose not to leave in last August’s window but as he was out of the picture in the first half of last season, Pringle joined Oldham in January.

He made 15 appearances for the Latics, scoring once, but the Boundary Park outfit were relegated to League Two on the final day of the season.

Pringle’s work ethic at PNE has been excellent according to club sources, it has simply been a case of him not fitting into the style of play.

When he first signed, he played in central midfielder under Simon Grayson.

But others hit form to edge him out of the team.

Pringle had caught the eye of many North End fans in his days playing at Rotherham.

He was one of the stand-out Millers players when they beat PNE in the 2014 play-off semi-final and went on to be promoted.

It could be argued that his career has stalled since he left Rotherham to join Fulham on a Bosman in July 2015.

After being a regular for Fulham in the first half of the 2015/16 season, he moved to Ipswich on loan.

It was after his return from Portman Road that North End signed him.

A move out of Deepdale this summer would allow Newcastle-born Pringle to start afresh, while it would free up room on the wage bill.

Eoin Doyle, another who PNE would allow to leave, is attracting plenty of interest from League One clubs.