Darnel Fisher was a mainstay in the Preston North End team as soon as he arrived in 2017. He was a reliable right-back. Defensively astute, liked to get forward and was also the type of player that easily riled up the opposition and their fans. Therefore he was always going to be a huge miss when he left the club.
His contract shouldn’t have been allowed to run down and our loss is Middlesbrough’s gain. In his absence Alan Browne initially stepped in, and coped admirably considering it wouldn’t be his preferred position. Since moving to a wing-back formation, Sepp van den Berg has found himself in that role down the right. The Liverpool loanee has done well there but he is more comfortable as a centre-back; perhaps on the right-hand side of the back three.
Tom Barkhuizen has also played as a wing-back and his pace allows him to get up and down quickly with ease. I expect a right-back to be on the shopping list for the new manager this summer though. It also wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Joe Rafferty is moved on.
A great option for Preston North End would be Dion Sanderson of Wolverhampton Wanderers. The defender has shone at Sunderland on loan this season, but unfortunately injury has ruled him out of their end of season run in. Capable of playing as a right-back, a wing-back and in the centre, Sanderson would provide Preston with versatility, huge potential and games already under his belt. Just 21, Sanderson also had a loan spell at Cardiff City last season as they reached the Championship play-offs.
The nephew of Olympic gold medalist Tessa Sanderson, just has one year left on his contract with Wolverhampton Wanderers. With it looking unlikely for him to break into their team any time soon, having only made one league cup appearance for them to date; he may look for a move to guarantee first team football. Likewise Wolves may choose to cash in rather than see him leave for nothing. Another loan move would probably be off the table and they could be tempted with a bid around the £1-1.5 million mark in my opinion.
He has impressed Sunderland fans this season and they were devastated to see him ruled out of the rest of the campaign. Sanderson may still make the step up to the Championship however even if they don’t.