Man City pair in vote of thanks to Preston North End

Lukas Nmecha celebrates after scoring in Preston's win against Ipswich at Deepdale in Apri
Lukas Nmecha celebrates after scoring in Preston's win against Ipswich at Deepdale in Apri

Manchester City pair Lukas Nmecha and Brandon Barker have thanked Preston at the end of their loan spells.

They both took to social media in the aftermath of the season’s finale at Brentford.

Nmecha and Barker had contrasting fortunes during their season-long loans with North End.

More games came the way of Nmecha, who made 44 appearances.

Of those, 24 were starts in the league and he came off the bench a further 17 times.

He made one start in the FA Cup and was twice a substitute in the League Cup.

Injury restricted Barker’s involvement, with the winger making only six starts in the Championship.

The 22-year-old made 10 appearances off the bench in league games, while Barker started two League Cup games and was a sub in the FA Cup.

Twice he pulled up with a hamstring injury, the second of those which he suffered at Reading in March ruling him out for the rest of the season.

Posting on Twitter, Barker said: “A frustrating season for me but it’s been a pleasure and thanks for the opportunity.

“Met some great people along the way. All the best.”

Nmecha also used Twitter to share his thoughts.

The striker posted: “It has been a season of learning, thank you PNE for everything, loved every minute of it.”

It seems likely that North End will ask City about taking Nmecha on loan again.

What the Premier League title-chasers have planned for him remains to be seen.

Nmecha only found the net four times, with two of the goals coming in the 4-0 win over Ipswich Town on Good Friday.

Alex Neil used him mainly as a winger in the second half of the season but his long-term future is as a striker.

North End boss Neil said: “Manchester City will have their thoughts and we will have our thoughts.

“Lukas will have his, so we will sit down and have a chat and see where it goes.”

Barker’s form was hit and miss in the first half of the campaign but he did score a stunning solo goal in August’s 2-0 League Cup win against Leeds at Elland Road.

He damaged a hamstring in the win at Nottingham Forest in December, returning to the squad for January’s FA Cup tie with Doncaster.

But it took him until March to see league action, getting four games as a substitute.

Barker caught the eye in those but pulled up injured again at Reading.