A number of Preston players are still set to be out of contract in 2021, even if steps have been taken to keep hold of some whose contracts were set to expire.

Seani Maguire, Josh Harrop, Ryan Ledson, Josh Earl and Andrew Hughes are among those to have signed new deals, though we all know that the likes of Ben Davies, Ben Pearson, Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson will become free agents next summer as things stand.

There are a number of players who aren’t quite priorities, and Billy Bodin fits into that category, with a crucial few months ahead.

Just over a year ago, Bodin signed a new one-year extension with Preston, tying him to the club until the summer of 2021 – and it will soon be decision time once again.


Preston North End v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship
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That extension essentially gave Bodin more time to get himself back to full fitness after a long-term injury lay-off, and Preston more time to assess whether he was worth a longer-term deal.

The 28-year-old hasn’t really kicked on since then, and the chances of him winning a new deal currently seem pretty bleak, given that he has played just once in the league this season – and that came on the opening day of the season.

Bodin managed 57 minutes in a 1-0 defeat to Swansea City, and hasn’t been seen in the Championship since. His only other appearance came in the 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion in September.

He hasn’t even been in the matchday squad for North End’s last five league games, and appears to be well down the pecking order at Deepdale.

Preston North End v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship
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This is understandably frustrating. Bodin has shown flashes of real quality since his £400,000 move from Bristol Rovers in January 2018, and he is particularly capable of conjuring up moments of magic with his ability on the ball.

A major knee injury in August 2018 stunted Bodin’s development, and niggling injuries as well as inconsistent displays have ultimately left his tiem at Preston feeling like a case of ‘what could have been’.

Given that he turns 29 in March, a long-term extension seems impossible to imagine right now, and Bodin would be forgiven for already looking for an exit in 2020 in order to play first-team football.

Selling him in January before he leaves for nothing could make some sense, and with decision time looming on a new deal, Bodin’s lack of football ultimately points towards a departure.

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