It’s been a week since we learnt Tom Barkhuizen’s Preston North End career would be coming to an end. It was a disappointing end to a fine Preston career that gave the fans some great moments over the years.
This season, injuries hampered him, and he only made three appearances under Ryan Lowe. The formation used didn’t quite allow Barky to showcase his best skills, and Lowe will have been frustrated that he was barely fit to feature for a lot of this season.
There are plenty of highlights from the 28-year-old’s time at the club including a spectacular individual display against Reading in his first season, and his inspired second half display at home to Blackburn Rovers a couple of seasons ago.
It was therefore a shame to see Barkhuizen leave without much of a farewell, and obviously in the shadow of Paul Huntington’s departure.
The winger has been a key part of the club since his arrival midway through the 2016-17 season, and he will leave with the best wishes of the fans and players.
He has now spoken out for the first time since it being announced that he will not be offered another deal at the club.
Whether he will have accepted a new deal is unknown but after over 200 appearances for the club it will take some getting used to seeing him turn out for another team.
Barkhuizen posted some of his favourite pictures of his time at Preston accompanied with a brief statement on Instagram;
“The last 5 and a half years have changed my life and I’ve made some brilliant friends along the way. Looking forward to what the future holds this summer. Thanks for the memories.”
A short message looking back on his time at the club, but one that shows how much it meant to him. Andrew Hughes and Ryan Ledson were some of the first to comment wishing him well for the future, with the likes of Brad Potts and captain Alan Browne joining in.
Barkhuizen may have been a controversial figure at times when he was outspoken, but he very rarely said things that the rest of us weren’t thinking anyway.
There’s no doubt Barkhuizen can continue to have a successful career in the Championship, but let’s hope he doesn’t come back to haunt us.
Rotherham United are reportedly keen to keep him in the Championship with Derby County and Bolton Wanderers interested in League One.