Ben Whiteman was Preston’s big signing of the January transfer window.
North End swooped to sign Whiteman from Doncaster Rovers in January following a protracted transfer saga, beating a host of Championship rivals to his signature.
With a seven-figure fee paid, Whiteman could actually now be Preston’s record signing, and there are high hopes for him moving forward.
The 24-year-old was outstanding in Monday’s 1-0 win at Swansea City, excelling alongside Ryan Ledson as the pair controlled the midfield brilliantly.
Sure, there have been some teething problems for Whiteman as he adjusts to life in the Championship, but he has shown more than enough to be encouraged by ahead of next season.
This week, FourFourTwo (07/04, p41) released their Top 50 EFL players, and they have placed Whiteman at number 29 – the highest-ranked Preston player in the list.
“A summer transfer seemed inevitable after Whiteman’s excellent 2019-20 showed eh was too good for League One – after another superb half-season spent screening Doncaster’s back four, a move to the second tier followed in January. Already the beating heart of Preston’s midfield,” they wrote.
Whiteman actually ranked above one former Preston man, as Sunderland winger Aiden McGeady only came in at number 43.
McGeady still has plenty of fans at Deepdale having dazzled in the 2016-17 season, but Whiteman ranking ahead of him goes to show what a player Preston have on their hands.
Let’s hope the former Manchester United trainee has a strong end to the season, and can kick on again next term.