Ryan Ledson earned a first league start of 2020 on Saturday afternoon, featuring in Preston’s 0-0 draw at Huddersfield Town.
The midfielder had made just two league appearances before Saturday’s game, both as a substitute. Ledson played well, turning in a committed and energetic display in midfield.
Ledson has been in a tricky spot. He was brought in to offer cover for Ben Pearson, and may have expected to replace Pearson one day. Yet, two years on from his move to Deepdale from Oxford United, Pearson is still at North End.
It’s often difficult to jam them both into the side, but Alex Neil did just that on Saturday. Neil is clearly a big fan of Ledson, and recently praised his attitude and quality in training.
Less than 24 hours after his display against Huddersfield, Ledson was bizarrely linked away from Preston. Alan Nixon reported (The Sun on Sunday, 05/07, p61) that Ledson is a target for Hamilton Academical. The Scottish side allegedly want a season-long loan move for the 22-year-old.
North End did have offers to loan out Ledson in January, but decided to keep him. If they did loan Ledson out – and that seems very unlikely given how much Neil likes him – then surely a move to a Championship or League One club will be wanted rather than a trip to Scotland.
Hamilton finished second bottom of the Scottish Premiership this season, so it doesn’t seem like the step Preston should be taking with Ledson’s future – though Neil’s connection to the Accies is important to note.
Neil is a hero at Hamilton for his playing and managerial days there, and has sent players there before. At Norwich, Neil sent Carlton Morris and Remi Matthews to Hamilton for first-team experience.
Maybe Preston will look to send players there in the future, but it surely makes more sense for a youngster like Adam O’Reilly or Jack Baxter rather than a first-teamer in Ledson.