Preston take on Luton Town today, but it’s hard to say for sure just where Alan Browne will be playing.

The start to this season wasn’t easy for Browne. In the last two seasons, he has been a key man for Alex Neil, most often playing as a number 10. With 19 goals in his first two seasons under Neil, Browne had a remarkable leap forward.

Yet earlier this season, he found it difficult to feature. Daniel Johnson took that number 10 role, and with Paul Gallagher often picked to play alongside Paul Gallagher, Browne was on the fringes.

Preston North End’s Alan Browne. (Photo by Stephen White – CameraSport via Getty Images)


Even when he did get a chance, he looked a little short of confidence. The goals weren’t flowing, and Browne was even forced to play in defence as a right back given North End’s issues there.

Browne himself will probably admit that his first half showing against Blackburn on the right flank in October wasn’t his best, but half time felt like a turning point. Browne was pushed up behind Jayden Stockley, and ended up winning a penalty before setting up the winning goal.

Since then, Browne has recaptured his best form. He scored his first goal of the season against Huddersfield Town, arriving late into the box to score a trademark Browne goal. On Tuesday, Browne was outstanding in midfield against Fulham, even picking up an assist for Seani Maguire’s opener.

Browne’s all-action midfield display only lasted just about 45 minutes, but he then again showed why he’s Alex Neil’s men for all occasions.

Fulham’s Stefan Johansen and Preston North End’s Alan Browne. (Photo by Stephen White – CameraSport via Getty Images)

The 24-year-old moved into a right back role and not only dealt with substitute Neeskens Kebano, but also fared well when Aleksandar Mitrovic moved out to the left flank to pick up the ball and drive at the Preston defence.

Browne is such a well-rounded footballer now that he can just be trust to play in virtually any role. In his time under Neil, Browne has played as a right back, centre back, holding midfield, central midfield, number 10 and on the right flank.

His endeavour and undoubted athletic ability makes him perfect for Neil, and also means he can fill into any of those roles seamlessly. Whether home or away, attacking or defending, Browne has been a go-to man for Neil – and having recaptured his form, Browne deserves massive praise.

Now we just wait to see what position he’ll be playing today.

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