Preston North End new boy Jayson Molumby explains why he missed out on playing at Deepdale for Brighton earlier this season
Jayson Molumby was close to getting a look at Deepdale more than three months before he signed for Preston North End – but Manchester United got in the way of that.
The midfielder joined PNE on loan from Brighton this week, agreeing a move until the end of the season.
In September, the two clubs met in the Carabao Cup and with Seagulls boss Graham Potter giving his fringe players the chance to shine, it was expected that Molumby would feature.
However, he didn’t end up making the trip and stayed behind in Brighton to prepare for what he hoped would be a Premier League debut.
Molumby said: “I didn’t get to come to Preston for the cup game.
“The Brighton gaffer pulled me to one side and said he was planning on playing me against Manchester United in the league on the Saturday.
“In the end he pulled me late on and said I was going to be on the bench against United.”
Molumby was an unused sub against United but did get to play in their Carabao Cup clash three days later.
That is one of just five games he has played for the Brighton first team this campaign, hence a desire to go out on loan and get a regular run of football.
The Republic of Ireland international got such a run last season on loan at Millwall, making 40 appearances.
Molumby said: “I wanted to try and test myself at Brighton first this season but as January got close I spoke to the gaffer here and the Irish boys (Sean Maguire and Alan Browne) too.
“They gave really good views of the place and this felt like the right club.
“Seani and Alan are good guys, they gave me good views on the gaffer, the club and the boys in the dressing room.
“They were all for it and said I would fit right in. I’m really excited about getting going here.
“Preston’s interest has been there for a while, I knew there was interest.
“Once I became available to go on loan, my agent spoke to a few clubs and told me what interest there was. I spoke to a few managers but I really liked the vibe I got from here.
“It was a few things in general that I got a good vibe about, they want to push up the table and see how many points they can get, see where that takes them.
“Just speaking to the gaffer and the other boys, it was a good feeling and you trust that.”
North End manager Alex Neil has spoken of wanting to sign the 21-year-old on a full-time basis rather than a loan.
The loan deal was the only one Brighton would consider at this stage, turning down a £1.5m bid from Millwall ahead of allowing Molumby to head to Lancashire. Whether that stance will change in the summer, remains to be seen.
Molumby has had a long association with Brighton, being on their books since he was a teenager.
“I joined them when I was 15 going on 16,” said the Cappoquiin-born player.
“So I’ve been there quite a while and it’s a good club to be at.
“When I joined Brighton I felt best suited there, the people were lovely and the atmosphere the right one.”
His PNE debut could come at Wycombe in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Whether he is plunged straight in after a couple of training sessions or starts from the bench, we will find out ahead of kick-off.
Said Molumby: “I’m really glad and excited that there is a game straight away, it will be good to get a buzz from a game which means something.
“I haven’t played a match for a couple of months so it might take me a game or two to get up to speed. I feel fit and I’m quite confident about going straight in.
“I want to push on from what I did last season, it was a breakthrough season for me at Millwall.
“That was a great learning curve, Millwall did well and finished just a couple of points from the play-offs. It was a really positive experience.”