Jordan Storey spent the second half of last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, and is now a crucial part of Preston North End’s defence.
A loan spell away from a club can usually mean a number of things. It’s good for younger players to go and get a taste of first-team football when they are not a regular at their parent club. It can also suggest the club loaning them has an interest in signing them permanently subject to how the temporary spell goes and if they become available.
For Jordan Storey he was halfway through his fourth season with the club last January, and at that point was 24 years old. No longer considered an up and coming youngster, but also not one we were ready to part with permanently. We invested heavily in him in 2018, a fee thought to be £750,000 initially. Storey had only played 18 games for Exeter before the big move to North End.
Storey featured heavily in his first season with 28 games in the Championship. The second season saw Patrick Bauer arrive and game time was limited for Storey then. In the behind closed doors season of 2020/21 he found his feet again under Alex Neil and then Frankie McAvoy.
However a change to five at the back didn’t see the former Exeter City defender in favour, with Sepp van den Berg becoming a fans favourite instead. An opportunity for Storey to move on loan to Sheffield Wednesday seemed like the perfect move for all parties. We didn’t want his progress to stagnate, and The Owls were looking for an immediate return to the Championship. They were also managed by Darren Moore; a very good defender in his time as well.
The move to Wednesday saw Preston bring in Bambo Diaby as cover. Storey hit the ground running for Sheffield Wednesday, and it started to look like a permanent deal could happen at the end of the season. He was receiving rave reviews from the local press as they looked to push for promotion.
He even suggested he would be open to a permanent deal in the summer. Ultimately Sheffield Wednesday fell short in the League One play-offs losing to eventual winners Sunderland in the semi-finals. With van den Berg not returning to Preston, Storey was the obvious replacement and Ryan Lowe was quick to praise him after the opening game of the season.
The incredible start to the season saw us not concede for the first seven league games. Storey looks more confident and imperious at the back , and has developed a wonderful partnership with Liam Lindsay. Both players have been tremendous so far, and are even causing problems in the opposition area. Lindsay popped up with two assists on Saturday and the second one was for Storey’s winner.
That was Storey’s second goal of the season, and he is winning points for the club on his own. He even was involved in the disallowed goal as it was his header at the back post that caused problems for the Middlesbrough defence.
The loan move has worked wonders for Storey. He always looked like a talented player, but he has matured now, and is a rock in that defence. If we do carry on with four at the back like on Saturday, then I would have no problems with Storey and Lindsay continuing their impressive partnership.