Why Preston must keep hold of Tom Barkhuizen amidst Bayer interest
According to a report from Sun, Bayer Leverkusen are interested in Preston North End forward Tom Barkhuizen ahead of the January transfer window.
Tom Barkhuizen, 26, has performed extremely well for Alex Neil’s side, being one of the standout players in the Championship this season.
He has kicked on again this season. With five goals and one assist this season – including a brace in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers – he’s been hugely productive for Preston.
The 26-year-old’s form hasn’t gone under the radar, with Bayer Leverkusen vying for his signature in the mid-season trading period. That being said, Preston must do everything possible to keep hold of Tom Barkhuizen in January.
Preston are playing some quality football this season and currently lie second in the table, two points off league leaders West Brom.
They edged past Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers 3-2 on Saturday which registered their seventh win of the campaign. And Tom Barkhuizen was the catalyst for the Lilywhites’ victory.
Neil’s side trailed 2-0 at half time after a dismal first-half display, but an early goal from Barkhuizen in the second half was followed by a smashing match-winning strike from the Blackpool-born star.
Those two goals took the forward’s tally to seven strikes across all competitions and he’ll be mightily pleased with the way things have gone so far this season.
Since signing from Morecambe in January 2017, Barkhuizen has not looked back. He netted six goals and added three assists in the second half of the 2016/17 campaign for Preston, making the impact the manager and the fans would have exactly hoped of.
In his first full season at Deepdale, he bagged eight goals and seven assists in 46 league games.
Although he missed almost the second half of last season, the 26-year-old registered six goals and an assist. And Barkhuizen is just a goal away from levelling his last season’s tally and we are just 14 games into the new season.
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Barkhuizen has been a menace for the Championship defenders with his pace, trickery and movement. He has also shown he can finish off chances in one blink of an eye.
The Blackpool-born forward will be entering the prime stages of his career and could be an excellent addition for Bayer Leverkusen, who are currently playing in the Champions League.
It would be unfair on Preston’s part to deny a big move for Barkhuizen if Bayer Leverkusen come calling in January, but Alex Neil has his own promotion aspiration and for that to happen, he’ll need to keep hold of his best players. And Barkhuizen undoubtedly is one of them.