Manchester United v Borussia Dortmund: Round Of Sixteen - UEFA Youth League
Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images

Who is Zidane Iqbal? Manchester United's wonderkid profiled after training with Preston North End

Manchester United’s Zidane Iqbal has trained with Preston but mostly for work experience rather than as a potential summer signing.

Preston are chasing a number of signings this summer and will be appealing to potential loan additions.

Daniel Iversen, Sepp van den Berg and Cameron Archer all became stars at Preston after joining on loan from Premier League clubs.

If top-flight teams want to send young players out on loan, Preston should emerge as an appealing option.

It now seems that Manchester United could have a couple of players of interest to North End.

7 Biggest Falls From Grace in Football Since 2017

BridTV
9548
7 Biggest Falls From Grace in Football Since 2017
992992
992992
center
29295

Manchester United’s Zidane Iqbal has trained with Preston

Lancs Live report that Iqbal trained with Preston as part of United’s work experience program.

This sees United talents head out to clubs in the Football League for training around senior players.

For instance, Ipswich Town recently took United duo Will Fish and Charlie Savage in for their work experience.

Joe Hugill and Charlie Wellens went to Forest Green Rovers, Charlie McNeill and Dillon Hoogewerf headed to Sheffield Wednesday and AFC Wimbledon took in Rhys Bennett and Dermot Mee.

We understand that one other United player followed Iqbal for training at Preston back in March.

Ryan Lowe indicated at the time that players were training with Preston and that’s where Iqbal comes in.

Lancs Live suggest that United would want to wait until January to loan Iqbal out, but Preston are in the mix.

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Background

Iqbal, 19, was born in Manchester to a Pakistani father and Iraqi mother. Iqbal has previously told The Telegraph that he is proud of being English, Pakistani and Iraqi.

Whilst attending a school in Whalley Range, Manchester, Iqbal was turning out for local side Sale United.

Manchester United spotted him, added him to their ranks at the age of just nine.

It could have all been so different though as former Sale United man Stewart Hamer claimed that Iqbal also had trials with Liverpool and Manchester City.

And no, Iqbal’s first name isn’t because of Zinedine Zidane; it’s because ‘Zidane’ means ‘increase’ or ‘more’ in Arabic.

Iqbal now one of United’s hot prospects

Iqbal has risen through the United ranks and is now a key part of the United development squad.

Transfermarkt note that Iqbal scored seven goals in 16 games for United’s Under-18 side before moving up to the Under-23’s.

Iqbal played 18 Premier League 2 games this season, scoring twice.

Iqbal even made his first-team debut for United this season, coming on for one minute in the Champions League clash with Young Boys.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

International honours

Iqbal was able to play for England, Iraq or Pakistan and chose Iraq.

After turning out for – and captaining – the Iraq Under-23’s last year, Iqbal picked up two senior caps earlier this year.

Iqbal is poised to become a key player for Iraq for years to come and may become one of their most high-profile players ever.

What kind of player is Iqbal?

Iqbal is a technically-gifted midfielder who dictates play with his control of possession and passing ability.

Silky on the ball and creative in the final third, Iqbal may be seen as competition for Daniel Johnson as Preston’s playmaker – if a deal is pursued.

Iqbal may be a little lightweight at this stage in his development but that will come with time – and a Championship stint would help, just as it did with Van den Berg.

Iqbal has admitted that Mesut Ozil is one of his heroes, both for his style of play and for being a practising Muslim.

Having that kind of player would be great for North End, and here is just a taste of Iqbal’s goalscoring ability.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know