Preston North End swooped to sign Josh Onomah on deadline day after he mutually terminated his contract at Fulham.

Reports had started circulating 24 hours earlier that the signing may be on the cards, but other Championship clubs were thought to be interested as well.

The 25-year-old arrives with a good level of Premier League and Championship experience and has been promoted twice from the second tier with The Cottagers.

It’s an exciting signing for The Lilywhites and it is hoped Onomah can add the creative spark that has been missing all season.

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Fulham v Leeds United                                                                                                    - Carabao Cup Third Round
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Ryan Lowe is unlikely to change his preferred to formation to incorporate Onomah, so where will the former Tottenham Hotspur player fit into the 5-3-2 formation?

There is already plenty of competition for the three midfield positions. Ali McCann and Ben Whiteman have taken up two of the positions for the majority of the time. Ryan Ledson has enjoyed a run in the first eleven of late as well.

Alan Browne is another option but has managed to oust Brad Potts in the right wing back position recently. There is also Daniel Johnson and Ben Woodburn to fill in those central roles.

It’s the latter two that you would usually look to for the creativity. DJ hasn’t reached the heights we know he can enough this season. Blackburn Rovers away, we saw the best of him but he’s only managed to start 13 league games this season.

Ben Woodburn has been hit and miss this season, sometimes starting games playing just behind the striker, but also taking up midfield positions to try and drive at the opposition. He’s managed just one goal in the league and two further assists. He’s been good at times, but unproductive at others.

So there is a void for the new signing to fill. Onomah will play ahead of they two deeper lying midfielders, and you’d think it would be Ledson making way from the preferred three of late under Lowe. McCann and Whiteman would sit behind Onomah to give defensive stability.

Lowe described Onomah as ‘a big, powerful, strong attacking midfielder’, and we don’t really have anyone like that at the moment. None of our midfielders you would describe as powerful, so hopefully Onomah can bring something new to the number 8 role.

The worry with the former Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday loanee is that he has started just 12 league games in the last two-and-a-half seasons. Four of those in the Premier League in 2020/21 and eight last year as Fulham returned to the Premier League once again.

It may take a little time for him to get up to scratch but when he dies Lowe will be looking for him to deliver with just a contract till the end of the season. That contract does leave Preston a little vulnerable too if he does impress he will have other suitors.

In the 2019/20 season when Fulham went up via the Championship play-offs, Josh Onomah played 15 games as an attacking midfielder playing predominantly behind Aleksandar Mitrovic. He got three goals and three assists in those games, including one in the play-off semi-final against Cardiff City.

On the rare occasion he has played out wide for Fulham as well, but I can’t see him being used in a wing-back position for Preston.

Lowe clearly sees him as a link between the midfield and the attack who have been so starved of support this season. With Liam Delap and Tom Cannon looking like strikers who are keen to have the ball played on the floor to them or just ahead of them, he could be an ideal playmaker for them.

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