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Preston's youngest-ever player has a big opportunity at North End this summer

In December 2018, Ethan Walker became Preston’s youngest-ever player when he came on against Aston Villa.

With Alex Neil suffering a major injury crisis, Walker was named on the bench and then brought on as North End saw out a 1-1 draw.

Born in July 2002, Walker made his debut aged just 16 years and 156 days, becoming the youngest-ever Preston player.

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That remains Walker’s only first-team appearance for Preston though.

We did see Walker in action against Everton during a pre-season friendly last summer, staring as a right-sided winger at Goodison Park.

Walker showed quick feet, pace and trickery that day, leaving North End fans really believing that he could make a first-team impact.

The teenager ended up on loan at Carlisle United instead, spending two spells with the League Two side having had his first interrupted by injury.

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Walker didn’t feature quite as much as he’d have liked, but showed flashes of his promise before returning to North End this season.

This is now a big summer for Walker; Anthony Gordon’s loan spell at Preston is over, and Billy Bodin’s contract has come to an ned.

Walker has a chance to really push for first-team minutes this season with the door open for him; let’s hope that he can seize that opportunity and become a real success story from North End’s youth ranks.

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