Preston North End's wing-back search could lead them to former Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Swansea City man

Preston North End could turn to experience to fill their right wing-back vacancy, with them linked with a move for free agent Cyrus Christie.

By Dave Seddon
Sunday, 12th June 2022, 11:30 am
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 7:18 am

The 29-year-old has been released by Fulham this summer having spent the last two seasons on loan at Nottingham Forest and Swansea City respectively.

He’s currently with the Republic of Ireland squad for their UEFA Nations League programme and was an unused substitute in their 3-0 win over Scotland on Saturday – a game PNE skipper Alan Browne started and scored in.

It has been reported that Christie is a target for North End as Ryan Lowe looks to strengthen key positions in the squad.

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Cyrus Christie (left) in action for Swansea against Huddersfield Town's Josh Koroma

Lowe’s 3-5-2 system makes strong use of wing-backs in an attacking sense but he had to be creative with who he used in the wide roles during the second-half of last season.

After Lowe used Ali McCann at right wing-back in his first game in charge in December, he then gave the job to Brad Potts who adapted well and played every game but one over the remainder of the campaign.

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Preston North End skipper on target for Republic of Ireland against Scotland

Potts is a midfielder by trade and did well in the wider role but Lowe will want a more natural fit to help North End progress.

On the other side of the pitch, a number of players filled the left wing-back position – Daniel Johnson finished the season there, linking well with McCann inside of him.

Christie kicked-off his career at Coventry City and went on to play for Derby County and Middlesbrough before signing for Fulham in a £3m deal in January 2018.

He helped the London club to promotion via the play-offs that season and played in the Premier League the following campaign.

Christie spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Forest, playing 44 times, before being loaned to Swansea last season where he made 23 appearances, scoring three goals.

If North End’s interest in Christie is strong, they’ll have a little bit of a wait to land him. Republic of Ireland have another Nations League game tomorrow night against Ukraine in the Polish city of Lodz.

The squad return for pre-season training at Euxton a fortnight today, with PNE looking to have done the bulk of their incoming deals before they go to Spain for a training camp on July 8.