Preston may have enjoyed a great start to the season, but that doesn’t mean every player is in fine form.

We’re seeing Daniel Johnson and Josh Harrop in arguably their best form in Preston shirts, whilst new signing Patrick Bauer has been colossal. The usual suspects like Ben Davies, Ben Pearson and Paul Gallagher are impressing again, and almost all is well at Deepdale.

There are though a couple of players who haven’t quite got going this season. Alan Browne would probably admit himself that he hasn’t been at his best, as would Jayden Stockley.

One of the major disappointments so far has been Brad Potts, with the midfield yet to hit last season’s heights.

PRESTON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 05: Preston North End’s Brad Potts. (Photo by Kevin Barnes – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Potts joined North End from Barnsley back in January, with Preston paying a £1.5m fee for him according to The Sheffield Star. That was a fair whack for Preston, and it looked like money well-spent.

The 25-year-old made a great start to life at Deepdale, scoring in away wins at Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City almost straight after arriving. He formed a strong partnership with Browne and Pearson in midfield, providing energy, drive and the desire to get forward and score.

His season was cut short with an injury against Birmingham City in March, and it hasn’t been easy for him since. A setback meant he suffered a stop-start pre-season, so he’s subsequently playing catch-up with his teammates.

Potts struggled on the opening day against Millwall, and hasn’t quite recaptured the form he showed last season. With just 34 minutes played across the last five league games, he’s still searching for form and fitness.

Brad Potts of Preston North End. (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Some have criticised Potts, levelling harsh criticism. Overweight, disinterested, lazy, etc etc. Yes, he was poor against Manchester City, but he will still be a key player this season. He can really provide thrust down the right flank or from a central role thanks to his versatility., he can score goals, and when fully fit, he’l be an athletic force.

Potts almost pulled off an outstanding goal against Barnsley last time out, giving a reminder of his ability. If his nonchalant volleyed lob with the outside of his right boot had gone in, we’d be talking about it as a goal of the season contender.

Football can be a very ‘what have you done for me lately’ business and that’s the case with Potts. His form from last season has been forgotten, with only some underwhelming displays this season on the minds of fans. Yet just as Josh Harrop needed time after his injury lay-off, Potts needs the same.

It’s a long season, and as Potts catches up in terms of fitness, we should see his impact grow again – and no doubt make some fans eat their words.

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