Preston have secured one big move this month, bringing in Doncaster Rovers midfielder Ben Whiteman on a deal until 2024.
After striking three loan signings, Preston dipped into the transfer kitty to sign Whiteman permanently, earning huge praise for the move.
The 24-year-old was Doncaster captain and the heartbeat of their midfield following a 2018 move from Sheffield United, establishing himself as one of League One’s top players.
Whiteman has gone straight into the Preston side, starting all three games since his arrival at Deepdale, and the early signs are good.
The Rochdale-born midfielder is clearly a very classy player on the ball, and his cross-field passing against Reading on Sunday really captured the imagination.
Whiteman figures to be a key part of the Preston side for years to come now, and EFL analyst and friend of the site Ali Maxwell has offered his view on North End’s new midfield maestro.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Maxwell joked that he’ll now have to find a new midfielder to brand as the best in League One, with Whiteman now in the second tier.
Maxwell added that Whiteman has been Championship ready for over a year now, and praised his vision and bravery to play passes through the middle of the park from a deep role.
“I’m a bit annoyed,” said Maxwell. “We’ve been calling him the best midfielder in League One for the last 18 months, and now we’re going to have to find a new midfielder in League One to say that about!”
“He’s gone straight in for Preston, that’s why it’s such a good signing for them. They’ve got issues with contracts with Ben Pearson specifically, Paul Gallagher’s career is kind of tailing off, Daniel Johnson’s future is up in the air, so for Whiteman to be able to come in and go straight to the base of that midfield and slot in, he’s been Championship ready for over a year now, so I’ve got no qualms about him stepping up.”
“What stands out most about him is his passing ability from in front of the back four; he links play so well, he fires quick balls through the middle, into the feet of attacking players, and that’s a big skill – not a lot of midfield players in the EFL have the vision or the bravery to play and complete those passes,” he added.