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Ryan Ledson offers Preston fans a glimpse of the future

Former Everton midfielder Ryan Ledson led Preston North End into a game for the first time on Monday.

The 23-year-old was named as captain for the Swansea City match and help guide his side to a valuable 1-0 victory at The Liberty Stadium.

Ledson has become a key player for North End in the last year, and is a valuable part of the squad. His leadership qualities are clear to see, and despite his young age he has already become one of the more experienced players in the squad.

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He is coming to the end of his third season with the club now, and with all the comings and goings this year, he’s one of the longer-standing members of the squad.

He did captain Oxford United on occasions, and has also led the England youth teams so he is no stranger to wearing the armband. He had been captain during a few games when others had been substituted but this was the first time he had led the team out. Alan Browne is the club captain, with Daniel Johnson and Paul Huntington likely deputies, and Paul Gallagher on occasions too.

But with Ben Davies, Ben Pearson and Darnell Fisher leaving in January Ledson has had to step up as one of the players to be looked up to in the squad.

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He’s got plenty of competition in the middle of the park, with Preston not short on central midfielders. DJ and Alan Browne are now believed to be two of the highest earners, whilst a decent sum was paid to bring Ben Whiteman in from Doncaster Rovers. However, Ledson has outshone those three this season, and it is exciting to see him develop further.

He definitely has the ingredients to be captain on a more permanent basis. His performance on Monday showed that he is happy to lead the team. He took all the set pieces, made a few superb timed passes, and was strong in the tackle as ever.

He may have taken time to settle at Deepdale, but he’s now one of the first names on the team sheet in my eyes.

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