‘Worrying’ - Preston North End fans make feelings clear on Ben Whiteman contract situation
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Preston North End fans want to see the club open talks with Ben Whiteman over a new contract, after manager Ryan Lowe outlined his stance on the matter.
Whiteman is out of contract at the end of the season, but is currently sidelined after undergoing surgery in early July on his hernia. The 27-year-old didn't play a role in pre-season and is yet to return to the first team fold, having played 39 matches last season.
The midfielder has been crucial to the Lilywhites since his arrival in January 2021 and is not a player supporters want to see leave on a free transfer next summer. As things stand, though, Lowe sees Whiteman’s situation as the ‘least of his worries’ and gave a December/January time frame for potential discussions to begin.
The transfer window remains open for just over a week and Lowe’s priority is to source new players as well as prepare his team for match day. It was reported earlier this summer that there was interest in Whiteman and fans are keen to see Whiteman’s future sorted sooner rather than later.
Twitter user @Rick_H1988 said: “Not too sure I like what’s being said here….The fact we haven’t tied him down to a new contract already is worrying. Meanwhile, @PR4PNE believes: ‘His contract should be a priority. He’s a player we can build a team around for the next 3-5 years.
Fan account @allthingspne posted: “Doesn’t make sense to me this one! Surely already done enough to earn a new deal?” - while @Martin_Ryan23 said: “Whiteman has already done enough to earn a new contract. He’s central to how we play and to wait until December or January or whenever because he’s currently injured and because we need new players in makes zero sense.”
Another fan account @thedeepdaleway, added: “Absolutely mental,” along with three mind-blown emojis. There was a common theme throughout the fan base, and @greatanon3 eccoed @Rick_H1988’s thoughts, saying: “Worrying one this, shades of the DJ situation. Surely we should be extending now or selling.”
“This is odd. Either put a contract in front of him or make him available for transfer,” said @JamesWorden85. And @Andy_Preston_ views the situation as similar to Ben Pearson’s: “That translates to he’s not signing a new deal. Stinks the same as when Pearo’s contract was up when he was here.”