Preston won’t be re-signing Cameron Archer after Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard confirmed the striker will be staying put this summer.
North End took Archer on loan in January as Ryan Lowe called in a favour from long-time friend Gerrard.
Archer made an instant impact with a goal on his debut against West Bromwich Albion and finished the season with seven goals in 20 appearances for North End.
Archer became a Preston hero for life by scoring a superb winner against Blackpool in April and fans have been hoping for his return on another loan deal.
Preston won’t be re-signing Cameron Archer
Lowe has maintained some level of hope that Archer would be returning to Deepdale but it looks like those dreams are over.
Archer has been playing for Villa in pre-season and impressed on their tour of Australia, scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory over Brisbane Roar.
That was enough for Gerrard to make a final call and decide to keep hold of Archer rather than loan him back to North End – or anywhere else for that matter.
Premier League Productions reporter Rob Scanlon has taken to Twitter to post quotes from an interview he conducted with Villa boss Gerrard.
Scanlon quotes Gerrard as saying that a decision has now been made and Archer is going nowhere.
Gerrard adds that Archer will be part of the first-team squad and will now play a part in Villa’s Premier League campaign.
“We’ve made a decision with Cameron Archer that he’ll be staying in the door,” said Gerrard. “He will be part of the first team group and he needs to be ready when called upon to contribute to the team,” he added.
This is a blow for North End but one many of us expected; Archer was just too good in his time at Preston last season.
If Archer doesn’t feature much between now and January, maybe Preston can explore a new loan move in 2023.
For now though, Archer is focusing on battling Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins in Villa’s attack, with his Preston spell preparing him for this step.