Whilst Callum Robinson’s contract situation has dominated headlines, there has been concern about Tom Barkhuizen too.
Both players have just a year left on their Preston contracts. Robinson is attracting Premier League interest, and is subsequently unlikely to renew his deal.
However, news on Barkhuizen has been thin on the ground. The winger has entered the final year of his deal, but there hasn’t been much news – either about him staying or leaving.
When Alex Neil extended his contract in April, many expected Barkhuizen’s deal to be a priority. Neil loves the former Morecambe man, almost running him into the ground because he plays him so regularly.
Weeks have gone by with no news, but a breakthrough appears to be close.
We believe that Barkhuizen is nearing an agreement to put pen-to-paper on a new contract, committing his future to North End. Preston no longer have to worry about him leaving for free in a year, though we’re currently unsure how long the new deal may be. A new three-year deal or a two-year extension makes the most sense, taking Barkhuizen until 2022 either way.
He may frustrate some fans, given that he doesn’t always play to his full ability, but Barkhuizen is hugely important. He’s one of few players in the side with blistering pace, and his record under Neil is decent; 14 goals and eight assists in 80 games.
With his future settled, hopefully Barkhuizen can hit the ground running this coming season. Billy Bodin is back, and will put pressure on him for that starting role on the right flank. That’s two right-sided wingers sorted, so it’s one less potential transfer to worry about.
At 26, Barkhuizen will now play his prime years at Deepdale – and Neil will certainly be delighted to have one of his most trusted players secured for the coming seasons.