We knew Ryan Lowe would bring more attacking football to Preston, and the early signs are that Daniel Johnson is ideal for this new style.
Lowe arrived at Preston last month with a track record of playing attractive, forward-thinking football.
Wide centre backs, high wing backs, playing the ball on the deck – many things that Preston fans wanted under Frankie McAvoy.
That immediately seemed prefect for Johnson, who was in and out of the team towards the end of McAvoy’s time in charge.
Johnson has started in both of Lowe’s games as Preston boss, and he was outstanding in Monday’s 2-1 win at Stoke City.
That goes beyond his assist for Brad Potts. Johnson was a constant threat in Lowe’s 3-5-2, and we have to give a nod to James Allcott here.
James offered a great analysis of Lowe’s style, highlighting the role of Ryan Broom at Plymouth.
Broom’s role was something of a ‘mezzala’, in Italian terms; a hybrid playmaker and winger who drifted into wider areas to create.
Johnson has immediately taken that exact role; not a number 10, not a winger, but occupying areas between the two… and he caused mayhem against Stoke.
Johnson was able to link up brilliantly with Josh Earl down Preston’s left, finding pockets of space in this hybrid role.
The Jamaican seems to be relishing this role in Lowe’s system, allowing him to float but also drive forward in possession.
After seeing Johnson shine against Stoke, let’s hope we can see even more of him excelling under Lowe. Right now, it looks like he is in his ideal role.