Preston fans will have been surprised enough to see Stephy Mavididi join Juventus last summer. Now, we could see him in the Premier League next season.
Mavididi left Arsenal for Juve last summer, just months after his Preston loan spell came to an end. The 21-year-old struggled to make an impact at Deepdale, playing just 11 games under Alex Neil.
With no goals to his name, Mavididi headed back to Arsenal, and then for a second Charlton spell. Come the end of last season, Mavididi was making a move few could have predicted – he joined Juve.
Of course, Mavididi started out in the Juventus Under-23’s. Yet after eight goals for the Under-23’s, he was handed a first-team debut, and appears to have a bright future in Turin.
Juve may look to loan him out for first-team football though, and TEAMtalk claim that he’s attracting interest from nine English clubs.
Premier League sides Aston Villa, Burnley, Everton, Newcastle and Southampton are thought to be interest. Meanwhile, Championship sides Derby, Fulham, Leeds and MIddlesbrough are in the race too.
Seeing Mavididi in the Premier League just a couple of years after arriving at Deepdale may shock North End fans. Mavididi was all pace and tricks yet no end product, and he looked a long way off a Premier League spell.
A year training with Juve may well have progressed his game, and even if he doesn’t end up in the top flight, we may see him facing off against Preston next season.
If there’s one thing to take from the story, it’s about the attitude towards young, raw loan attackers. Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll and Josh King were all criticised in their loan spells, yet carved out Premier League careers. More recently, it’s been Mavididi and Lukas Nmecha.
These players have come to Preston for experience, and progressed from there. Mavididi may not have impressed at Deepdale, but some wrote him off completely – and he may end up in the Premier League next term having found his feet in Italy.