As written about earlier on The72, Preston North End were one of the teams interested in signing young Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone. That likelihood has been confirmed as Preston have just announced the youngster will be returning to Deepdale (below).

Johnstone’s signing means that Sunderland’s young stopper Jordan Pickford is returning to the Black Cats and it also means that the Manchester United youngster is returning to Preston, where he made a name for himself at the end of last season.

Johnstone played a massive part in the run-in to Preston’s playoff promotion campaign from League One, playing in 25 games (including all the League One Play-off games), conceding only 17 goals for the Lilywhites and keeping 12 clean sheets, including a clean sheet in all three Play-off games.

Johnstone has signed up at Deepdale initially on a 28-day loan deal which runs to the Derby County fixture at the end of January. Manager Simon Grayson is understandably happy about the signing saying to the club’s website, “Sam is someone we know very well and someone we tried to sign in the summer. It is a big boost to have him available and back at the football club again.”

The feelings of happiness are also reflected by Johnstone himeslf, who returns to his hometown club for a second time, the young stopper saying, “It’s good to eventually come back, I’m glad I’m back and hopefully I can start playing games now. It’s great to be around the team at Manchester United, but I am 22-years-old and I have to think about myself a little bit and I need to be playing first team football. I get to do that now in the Championship, which is a great league to play in.”

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Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.

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