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.
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.
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.