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Ex-Preston talent Reece James becomes Blackpool's first signing since promotion

Preston fans may remember Reece James and the furore that surrounded his release from North End back in 2012.

James was one of Preston’s top talents in the youth setup, but was surprisingly not offered a new deal under Graham Westley.

North End decided to focus their money on the first team, so James was released without kicking a ball for Preston’s first team.

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Fans were left stunned when Manchester United swooped in to sign James, with the Red Devils seemingly seeing potential in the youngster.

James only managed one appearance for United, but he has gone on to carve out a fine Football League career.

After stints with Wigan Athletic and Sunderland, James joined Doncaster in 2019, and his performances for Rovers have earned him a return to Lancashire.

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Preston’s bitter rivals Blackpool have swooped in, signing James on a three-year deal. The 27-year-old becomes their first signing since promotion to the Championship.

Capable of playing at left back or in central midfield, James now gives Neil Critchley a versatile option on a free transfer.

James now has a chance to play against Preston with their biggest rivals, and almost 10 years since leaving Deepdale, he could exact some revenge for his exit.

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