Preston maybe weren’t expecting so much early interest in Lewis Leigh, but Premier League teams already want him.
Football.London reported last week that Premier League giants Arsenal want to sign Leigh.
Everton, Leicester City and West Ham United are also believed to be chasing Leigh, who is still on scholarship terms at Deepdale.
North End are looking to thrash out a professional deal with the midfielder, who was once on Liverpool’s books.
The Preston-born teenager is still only 17, but enters the new season with some of the biggest clubs in the country casting admiring glances his way.
One thing Preston may use to their advantage in contract talks is first-team football, and the club’s announcement about shirt numbers last week may drop a big hint.
Last week’s confirmation saw Leigh given the number 17 shirt, a number you would associate with first-team players such as Eddie Lewis, Jon Macken, Brett Ormerod, Paul Parry, Tommy Spurr and Ben Whiteman in years gone by.
Look at the numbers other young players have; Jack Baxter 30, Ethan Walker 33, Lewis Coulton 34, Oliver Lombard 35, Noah Mawene 36, Josh Seary 37, Joe Rodwell-Grant 38.
To see Leigh all the way up at 17 suggests Frankie McAvoy sees him in and around the first team setup this season, which would be a great experience for the youngster.
Add in that Preston haven’t added any more competition in central midfield this summer, and we could really see Leigh challenging for first-team minutes – something he wouldn’t be likely to get at Arsenal any time soon.