The global pandemic has created an uncertain world for all, and that goes for footballers too.
The English league season has been suspended for more than two months now. Players don’t know when the season will come back, and there is real concern over the conditions in which they will be playing.
There’s the added uncertainty of their contracts. Anyone with an expiring contract this summer was supposed to be out of contract on July 1st. However, teams may be able to agree short-term extensions so players can see out the season.
Budgets have been hit by the pandemic, so out of contract players will be fearing the process of finding a new club. A number of such cases exist at Deepdale, with Connor Simpson one of them.
The giant striker was snapped up from Hartlepool in January 2018, having been tipped for a bright future. He has made just one appearance for North End – as a substitute against Aston Villa a month after his arrival – and is now poised to leave.
Simpson’s deal expires this summer, and just two appearances in a season-long loan spell at Accrington hasn’t taken him any closer to North End’s plans.
The 20-year-old has now spoken to The Athletic about his situation. Simpson has admitted that he doesn’t think he is in the plans at Preston anymore, as he isn’t part of the group being tested for the virus. Simpson is currently in Hartlepool with his family, and assumes he won’t be part of Preston’s training when football returns.
Simpson seemingly hasn’t been told that he isn’t getting a new deal. That will sting, as the lack of clarity wouldn’t be easy for anyone. The pandemic may make communication a little more difficult, but it still doesn’t sound ideal for Simpson.
The report notes that Simpson did have a successful trial spell at West Ham United before picking North End. The promise of playing time at Preston hasn’t materialised, and he now seems some way from a Premier League move.
Maybe a club will see some potential in Simpson, and give him a chance. As things stand though, Simpson seems to think his time at Preston is over.