Surprise candidate for Preston North End's player of the year

It won’t be long until Preston North End fans are asked to vote for their player of the year.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 25th March 2022, 12:30 pm

When action resumes next week after the international break, the Lilywhites will have only eight more Championship games to play in a little more than a month.

The North End faithful will have varying views on who their star player has been.

In terms of consistency at the back, Andrew Hughes, Sepp van den Berg and Daniel Iversen will all be in with a shout.

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Preston North End midfielder Ben Whiteman

Emil Riis has scored 17 goals in league and cup, and any leading scorer has to be in the running.

However, some of the Dane’s form has been hit and miss, his goals tending to have come in bursts.

Daniel Johnson has scored his share of goals and got assists although did have a spell out of the team and on the bench.

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Statistics website Whoscored.com compiles stats on every game played in the EFL and Premier League, as well as in leagues across Europe.

They provide ratings for every player, with those being statistically based ratings – completed passes, assists, headers won, shots on targets and the like.

It takes away the human eye view, with some aspects of play overlooked by statistics.

Whoscored.com have Ben Whiteman leading the way in terms of North End’s ratings this season.

The 25-year-old midfielder is averaging a rating of 6.98 in Championship matches.

He’s started 34 times in the league and come off the bench twice, scoring four goals and providing four assists.

Whiteman has a 79.9% pass success rate and is averaging 1.3 shots per game.

The former Doncaster Rovers man has spent 2942 minutes on the pitch, one of the higher numbers in the North End squad.

Patrick Bauer is second in Whoscored.com ratings, with an average score of 6.96.

He’s been on the bench for the last couple of games having recovered from a hip injury and the German will be pushing for a recall in the back three after the break.

Third in the current ratings average is van den Berg with 6.93, fourth being Jordan Storey for his appearances before being loaned to Sheffield Wednesday in the middle of January.

Then comes Hughes (6.84) and Alan Browne (6.78).

In the appearances stakes, keeper Iversen has spent the longest time on the pitch in league action this season – 3,407 minutes.

The on-loan Leicester City man has started 37 of North End’s 38 Championship games, coming on as a substitute early in the first match of the campaign against Hull City.

Then comes Liverpool loanee Van den Berg with 3,285 minutes of game time.

In terms of who will be PNE’s top scorer, Riis holds all the aces unless a team-mate really steps on the gas in the last eight games.

The striker has 13 Championship goals and four more in the Carabao Cup.

Johnson and Cameron Archer are next with five apiece in the league, then comes Whiteman with four and Bauer with three.

Browne and Ched Evans have netted twice each, with six players having scored once.