We get the lowdown on Town new signing Josh Earl…

We chatted to Jake (@jioates) from From the Finney to find out all the information on Town’s latest signing Josh Earl. Town signed Earl on Monday morning on-loan for the reminder of the season.

Town have signed Josh Earl for the remainder of the season, what is the Preston opinion on the 21-year-old?

Josh is a very good prospect but needs a run of games to help his development. He obviously spent the first half of the season on loan at Bolton but got injured in his first game for the Trotters. Since his return from injury, by all accounts, he did well and the Bolton fans liked him but I think the club wanted him playing at a better level so toward the top end of League 1 suits.

Earl, primarily a left-back, could be an option for Town in the left sided centre-back role, do you think he could fit in there?

He’s played pretty much all his games for us at left-back but people were suggesting that he may be better suited to playing on the left of a centre-back pairing. I think he played a few games there for Bolton toward the end of his time there and did well. From what I’ve seen on twitter, some Ipswich fans seem to thing he’ll be playing left of a back 3 in a 3-5-2 formation. I think this would suit him to be honest.

We saw Ben Davies take a similar route. He came through our academy as a left-back but Alex Neil has played him on the left of a centre-back pairing after a spell on the left of a back 3 at Fleetwood. He’s since become (if reports are to be believed and in my opinion) one of the hottest defensive prospects outside of the top flight and we’ll do well to hold on to him in the summer.

Any obvious strengths or areas for improvement?

Tough to say really as I’ve not seen him play this season but when he last played for us, he looked like he needed to improve positionally more than anything. As I say though, this was him playing as a full-back so perhaps that’s less of an issue with him playing more centrally.

What’s your opinion on the future plans for Earl? A Preston future? 

Absolutely he has a future at North End. As I said, the club wants him to have a run of games and I would imagine that he will start to nail down more of a regular spot at the club from next season. He’s undoubtedly got potential but just needs to start to realise it and hopefully, that will be with you boys.

We also asked @PNEhomeandaway to provide us with a quick insight into what Town can expect to see from Josh Earl.

Young promising defender, used to play on the wing for the youth team loves getting forward from the full back position, can take a player on if he needs too! Big lad think over 6ft so got the hight for competing in the air! Been playing centre half for Bolton and done a good job there I’m told!

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