Preston North End's international midfelder on the verge of major milestone

Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson is just one appearance away from a huge milestone.

By Tom Sandells
Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 12:30 pm

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It will be a feat that only 27 other players have achieved before him, as he readies himself for his 300th game for PNE.

It has been seven-and-a-half years in the making for the Jamaican, who made his debut for the club on the last day of January in 2015.

Daniel Johnson during his 299th game for PNE against Wigan Athletic.

Johnson already had League One experience before joining PNE in the third tier, with loans at Yeovil Town, Chesterfield and Oldham Athletic before joining North End for a now famous and paltry sum of just £50,000 from Aston Villa.

In the first six months of his time at the club he scored eight times in 23 games, it took him just four games to find the net and followed it up with three more in consecutive games.

The pick of the quick fire four was against his former side Oldham, where he bent the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box at Boundary Park.

He played 44 times in the following season and scored his first penalty for the club in a League Cup draw against AFC Bournemouth. Since scoring that spot kick he has gone on to be fourth in the club’s all-time penalty list with 19 – behind George Harrison (30), Sir Tom Finney (39) and Graham Alexander (52) – with a now iconic and ice cold run up.

His best season in a North End shirt was his 2019/20 campaign where he came to life in the no.10 role under Alex Neil. Often played deeper previously, with creative forwards in front of him, it was his turn to step up and be chief instigator. He scored 12 whilst setting up eight, finishing as PNE’s top scorer.

His 299 appearances to date have brought him 57 goals in total.

He will become the 28th player to reach 300 appearances for the club and is currently 34 behind captain Alan Browne, and fourteen and seven behind former teammates Paul Huntington and Paul Gallagher.

Johnson has divided opinion in his time at Deepdale but his class has shone through and very few have looked so effortless on the ball and glided across the turf like the dominuitive, dredlock sporting achitect.

It has oftern been him to unlock defences in recent season with an eye for a killer forward ball.

Despite his style as a creative midfielder he covers the ground for Ryan Lowe’s team and can always be relied upon to put a shift in for the team.

He is heavily relied upon by his manager and is one the captains in the side. Though not the type to shout and bawl, he can often be seen offering up instructions to his teammates and talking them through games.

His vast experiecne is very much respected at the club as his ability to shake off pressure and always have a cool head.

His left foot has been the source of inspiration for PNE on many an occasion over the last seven-and-a-half years and it will undoubtedly continue to be so as he looks to reach his next milestones and surpass his former teammates – there could be 50 games up for grabs for him this season.