Preston’s left back spot was something of a problem last season, but looks much better now.
North End chose to loan out Josh Earl to Bolton Wanderers in August 2019, but didn’t manage to bring in a replacement.
It was true sod’s law when Andrew Hughes went down injured just days later with no cover, meaning right back Joe Rafferty had to cover there.
Some wondered if Preston would be in the market for a left back this summer, but Earl has returned from loans at Bolton and Ipswich Town seemingly much improved.
Earl could even start the season ahead of Hughes at left back, with Alex Neil seemingly in a better spot at left back than he was this time last year.
But what about the player Preston wanted at left back last summer? When Earl was loaned out to Bolton, North End wanted to sign Max Lowe.
The Lancashire Evening Post reported that Preston failed with a cash bid to buy Lowe, as Derby stood firm and kept him at Pride Park.
Lowe, who had been on loan at Aberdeen, become Derby’s first-choice left back, playing 29 Championship games whilst notching one assist.
Now, the 23-year-old has made a move to the Premier League, with Sheffield United confirming his arrival at Bramall Lane this evening.
Welcome to the Blades, Max. 👋 pic.twitter.com/mmkfzCkD7I
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) September 7, 2020
Lowe joins the Blades alongside Derby teammate Jayden Bogle, in a deal worth a combined £11million according to the Daily Mail.
It’s unclear just what Derby valued Lowe at, but it’s likely much more than Preston were able to offer a year ago.
This is just one of those ‘what could have been’ moments, and North End will no doubt rue missing out on Lowe, who could have earned big profit had Preston managed to tempt Derby into a deal just over a year ago.