The four deals Preston North End have to get done in this summer transfer window

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe and playersPreston North End manager Ryan Lowe and players
Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe and players | CameraSport - Ian Cook
Incomings needed at Deepdale this summer

After a quiet January, this summer promises to be busy once again for Preston North End - as boss Ryan Lowe gears up for his fourth season in charge.

The Lilywhites finished 10th in the Championship last season, and the challenge is to now close that gap to the play-offs. North End, as per Lowe and director Peter Ridsdale, will be recruiting first team ready players.

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Club captain Alan Browne could leave on a free after 10 years at Preston, while loan star from last season, Liam Millar, will likely need replacing. North End signed eight players this time last year and a few deals should get done over the course of this summer.

But, where within the squad absolutely needs addressing? We take a look, here.


Ryan Lowe has predominantly used a back three of Jordan Storey (26), Liam Lindsay (28) and Andrew Hughes (32) for the last two seasons - and they have been a steady trio on several occasions. Jack Whatmough was brought in last summer, but with Greg Cunningham having moved on and Patrick Bauer surplus to requirements, central defence - if you are looking at how PNE go to the next level - is certainly somewhere to target. Storey, Lindsay and Hughes are all competent defenders at the level and they will probably all play a part next season. But, they are all out of contract in 2025 and strong competition can only be a positive thing for any squad.

It’s an area of the team that hasn’t been rotated much for two years and in three game weeks, Preston could benefit from some fresh defensive blood. Storey, Lindsay and Hughes are all tough defenders who give their all every game, but it would be refreshing to see Preston’s defence injected with pace. The back three sees a lot of the ball too, so some added composure and passing range back there would not go amiss. It could in fact bring more out of key men Ben Whiteman and Mads Frokjaer, who like to get the ball into feet from deeper team mates.

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Left wing-back

It’s absolutely essential that North End strengthen down the left flank, this summer. Ryan Lowe looks set to continue with the wing-back system he has used throughout his tenure. Liam Millar was used there predominantly last season and will need replacing, assuming the FC Basel man does not return. Robbie Brady filled in and did a job towards the end of the season, but the Irishman is not overly suited to such a demanding role. Unless Preston get specialists in the wing-back departments then you would have to question the continued use of the formation, so it’s an important one to address this window. For a player to really thrive in the position you are looking for speed, athleticism, stamina and the ability to combine, create and cross.

Right wing-back

It would’ve been easy to take Brad Potts’ availability record - an underrated player trait - for granted. But, when the number 44 missed the last two months of the season with hamstring issues, it became clear that Preston absolutely need another option down the right. Duane Holmes should not be considered one, it’s still very early days for Josh Seary and Alan Browne could well be off this summer. North End signed Calvin Ramsay this time last year, so it is not lost on Preston that Potts needs someone fighting for the shirt with him, every week. The 29-year-old has been one of Lowe’s best and most trusted servants - and he has no trouble getting up and down the pitch, as mentioned before. But, as Potts would admit himself, he is not overly nimble, skilful or quick - so a different profile of player could be just what PNE need.

Alan Browne tied down - or midfielder signed

The latter is looking increasingly likely, the longer it goes on without Preston’s captain signing a new deal. It is a big decision for Browne and irrespective of the ‘deadline’ he was set in May, the Irishman remains under contract with PNE until the end of June. If Browne decides to move on after a decade at Deepdale, then he will certainly need replacing. North End would be losing an experienced, international player and important figure within the dressing room. The midfield department would not be in dire straits, with Ben Whiteman, Ali McCann, Ryan Ledson, Duane Holmes and Mads Frokjaer all contracted. But, Browne was Player of the Year last season and it would be crazy to not seek an adequate replacement should he depart.

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