Stoke City have been in fine form since Alex Neil moved to bring in Ben Pearson on loan from Bournemouth.

Pearson excelled under Alex Neil at Preston North End between 2017 and 2021 and those who saw his form for The Lilywhites won’t be surprised to see him impress in this league again.

It was actually Simon Grayson who brought Pearson to the club in January 2016. Pearo went on to make 165 appearances for the club, scoring just two goals in that time but endearing himself to the North End faithful. He also picked up 60 yellow cards during the process.

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His relentless running and committed tackles were the envy of all in the Championship and he really was a joy to watch at Deepdale.

He was always destined for more so it was perhaps a shame that when he did depart, he joined a fellow Championship team at the time in Bournemouth.

He left during the season played behind closed doors as well so Preston fans never really got the chance to say goodbye.

His first full season with The Cherries did see him get promoted to the Premier League but just seven games; three as starts, followed before the halfway point of the campaign.

Alex Neil probably couldn’t wait to swoop for Pearson on loan as soon as he knew he was available. The 28-year-old has started seven games since his move, with The Potters winning four, drawing two and losing just once.

14 points in that time sees Stoke as one of the most in form sides in the Championship. They’ve beaten Sunderland 5-1 as well as play-off contenders Blackburn Rovers. Pearson has an impressive 83% pass rate accuracy during that time. No doubt the club will be looking to extend his stay with the club in the summer.

Bournemouth’s league status could have something to do with that though. If they manage to beat the drop in the Premier League then he would be more likely to move, and would have plenty of suitors in the Championship.

Sadly despite having an abundance of midfielders at the club, Preston have failed to replace the tenacity of Ben Pearson. No Pearo, no party at the moment.

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