In the last two seasons, Alan Browne has struggled to replicate the form we know he is capable of. The 26 year-old scored 12 goals in 38 Championship games in 2018-19. He’s scored just eight goals since then.
Now the club captain, his influence is key in this team and he needs to lead by example. He recently admitted that he hasn’t been happy with his form and he knows he needs to improve.
With Paul Gallagher now part of the ballroom staff, Alan Browne needs to step up on and off the pitch. Whether he’s worthy of a place on the pitch is a big question though. He certainly has a lot of competition in that place.
Preston are always likely to line up with three central midfielders. Out of all of them, Daniel Johnson probably leads the way and is almost guaranteed a starting spot when fit. The other two spaces are up for grabs and you’d think will be rotated depending on the game.
Ryan Ledson was player of the year last season and went from strength to strength. He needs more games to continue developing. We have also spent good money on Ben Whiteman and Ali McCann.
Whiteman has shone on occasions and can pick up a few goals as well. He’s also handy from set pieces. McCann is probably the closest thing we have to Ben Pearson right now his display against Liverpool has probably earned him a starting spot against Luton Town.
With all things considered you’d have to say Alan Browne is fifth choice central midfielder in my opinion. The others are bringing more to the team at the moment. I also have no problem with DJ standing in as captain.
There’s still Brad Potts to consider as well as an option. His versatility may actually count against him in this instance, as he is usually favoured as a substitute.
Alan Browne didn’t help himself with the late red card against Blackpool last week. It meant he missed the game against Liverpool, where the other midfielders did themselves no harm.
It would be a surprise to see Browne come straight back into the team and he faces a real fight to do so at all now.