Preston North End midfielder who was interesting Arsenal, Everton and West Ham, signs first professional contract at Deepdale

Preston North End midfielder Lewis Leigh has signed his first professional contract.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 9:30 pm

Leigh, 17, this evening put pen to paper on a three-year deal which runs until 2024.

The teenager was a regular through pre-season in Frankie McAvoy's squad, featuring in a number of the friendlies - including against St Johnstone, Bolton, Accrington and Wigan.

It had been claimed in the media that several Premier League clubs were eyeing him, including Everton, West Ham, Leicester and Arsenal.

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Lewis Leigh has signed a professional contract with Preston North End

However, Ashton-on-Ribble lad Leigh has now signed with his home town club and is delighted to have done so.

Leigh told iFollow PNE: I'm over the moon, obviously it's a proud moment for me and my family.

"I've worked hard since I started playing football when I was very young so I'm buzzing with it.

"It's been a long time coming, it's my home town club.

"I'm buzzing, I'm thankful for it as well. It's a huge show of faith from Frankie so I'm happy."

Leigh made the bench once last season as a first-year scholar, that for the 2-1 defeat at Millwall in March.

He joined PNE's academy at Under-14 level after previously being with Liverpool.

PNE head coach McAvoy said: "I'm delighted he's committed his future to the club. He's a Preston boy and I've been delighted with his progress so far.

"The most important thing is we need to make sure that young players have an opportunity and a chance to develop, that they become part of our squad, then we try and tie them up as early as we can.

"Lewis is one of them; he’s done really well. We’ve involved him throughout pre-season and I’m just delighted that he’s managed to stay here and he’s got a big future, and hopefully that big future is with Preston North End."

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