If you liked having one Ben Pearson, how about two? And no, that’s not a joke about Ryan Ledson’s red card at Wigan Athletic.
Pearson has developed into one of the Championship’s top midfielders, possessing technique and a great passing range as well as the ability to get stuck in and win the ball back.
Unfortunately, that last part gets Pearson into trouble too often. His disciplinary record at Preston now stands at 48 yellow cards in 116 games, and four red cards.
He’s missing far too many games, and whilst that’s a blow, it’s at least keeping him at Deepdale. Few clubs are seemingly willing to take a punt on Pearson because of that terrible disciplinary record.
Ledson has shown a similar aggression with five yellows and two reds in 28 games in his first season. Now though, Preston may well have an actual second Pearson in the ranks.
Preston Academy’s Lead Youth Development Phase coach John Prince has been discussing the club’s new scholars on the official website. One of them is Ben Dooley, signed from Blackburn Rovers in December.
Previously a right back, North End see Dooley’s future in midfield. Now, Prince has suggested that Dooley is like Pearson in terms of his combative nature, describing him as ‘mobile’, ‘aggressive’ and ‘tough tackling’.
“Ben was previously at Blackburn Rovers, where he was mainly utilised as a right back, but we see him as a central midfielder. He joined us in December 2018 and has been heavily involved with the youth team since,” said Prince. “He’s a mobile, aggressive, and tough-tackling player who can drive forward with the ball. We see him as a bit of a Ben Pearson type in terms of his combativeness,” he added.
That certainly sounds like Pearson. Lord help us all.