Preston have brought in one summer signing already in Liam Lindsay, and Izzy Brown could end up following.
Other loanees from last season like Daniel Iversen and Sepp van den Berg are expected to come back, but the link to Brown is very interesting.
Lancs Live reported last week that Brown was a target, and we understand the free agent is under real consideration at Deepdale – though some players may have to leave first.
Brown is available for free after being released by Chelsea, with the Blues ending his eight-year association with the club, having arrived from West Bromwich Albion in 2013.
Jose Mourinho backed Brown for England at Chelsea, viewing him as the future of club and country. Sadly, it hasn’t worked out that way for him.
Now 24, Brown finds himself on the scrapheap. A loan move to Leeds United in 2018 seems to have set him back badly, and he made little impact at Sheffield Wednesday last term.
Brown’s best spell arguably came with Huddersfield Town, notching five goals in their promotion-winning campaign, though he did show his creativity with eight goals on loan at Luton Town.
Injuries have been an issue for Brown, making him something of a risk for any club seeking to sign him – but it could be a gamble worth taking for North End.
Preston have often been workmanlike in recent years, but sometimes lacked that killer pass or extra bit of quality around the final third to turn draws into wins.
During Brown’s time at Luton, he did show that quality. He was inventive around the penalty area, averaging more than two key passes per game. For context, only Ryan Ledson and Josh Harrop averaged more than one key pass per game for North End last season.
Brown may be able to provide that creative spark that Preston often lack, but the terms of any deal would have to be pretty friendly towards North End.
Given Brown’s injury woes in recent times and a lack of starts last season, a one-year deal with the option of a second seems to work for all parties.
Let’s see if this one happens; there is clearly talent with Brown, but he needs to find a home and put some frustrating years behind him. If this works, it’s great for Preston; if not, they likely haven’t lost a great deal financially, and shouldn’t be tied to Brown long-term just in case things go south.