It’s fair to say that this a move which promised so much, but just didn’t work out.

North End brought in winger Brandon Barker on loan from Manchester City back in August. The move allowed Daryl Horgan to join Hibernian, ironically the club Barker had last played for.

A pacy winger once tipped for big things at City, Barker’s career hasn’t quite gone to plan. Loans with Rotherham, NAC Breda and Hibs hadn’t pushed him any closer to the City side, with is no great shame due to their immense squad.

Yet a loan move to North End seemed different. This time, Barker looked to be playing for a permanent move. He’s 22 now, and rather than live in the City reserves and out on loan, he needed a club to settle down with.

North End seemed like a decent shout. The likes of Callum Robinson and Ben Pearson have found homes at Deepdale having been overlooked at ‘bigger’ clubs. Barker, possessing the pace Preston lack without Tom Barkhuizen, had a real chance to shine.

Sadly, we’ve only seen glimpses of his quality. His stunning solo goal at Leeds, an exciting performance against Bolton at home, changing the game at Middlesbrough and a few other strong cameos where he gave North End a lift going forward; that’s about it, unfortunately.

 

Barker has struggled with niggling muscle injuries, and he picked up another at Reading in March. That proved to be his final game for North End.

Today, Barker has taken to Twitter to send a message to the Preston fans, admitting that he’s endured a ‘frustrating’ season at Deepdale.

Barker admitted that he met great people at Deepdale and thanked North End for the opportunity, wishing us the all the best for the future.

Barker’s tweet is a clear indication that he won’t be back at North End next season despite those glimpses of quality, and it would be little surprise to see him leave City permanently somewhere this summer. It just won’t be with Alex Neil and co.

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