Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe has said the Lilywhites will make a decision on Tom Barkuizen’s future before the end of the season.
The 28-year-old has been with Preston North End for over five years now, joining the club in January 2017.
Since then, Barkhuizen has made 209 appearances across all competitions, but he has only played 14 times in the 2021/22 campaign with injury problems limiting his involvement.
Barkhuizen is closing in on the end of his contract at Deepdale, with his deal expiring at the end of the season and a decision yet to be made. Now, Preston North End boss Lowe has revealed that a decision will be made before the campaign finishes.
As quoted by Lancs Live, Lowe said while speaking at a Meet the Manager event that the club won’t be rushing into any drastic decisions, adding that they are hoping to get him back to full fitness as quickly as possible.
Here’s what he had to say:
“I believe he’s a fantastic talent but ultimately I’ve not seen much of him on the pitch or on the training pitch as we speak.
“He has been injured bless him and we’re trying to get him fit as quickly as we possibly can.
“The season is running out and his contract is running out but I think in football, sometimes players come, they go, they have to move on – it’s football, unfortunately. Now in Tom’s situation, we’ve made no drastic decisions.
“First and foremost it is trying to get him fit and available for football; I think he played 20 minutes at Swansea for me and had to come off with a calf injury, so Tom is a fantastic lad – yeah he has been here a while and performed to the level expected of Tom.
“But ultimately, what I need from Tom is to get him on the pitch as quickly as we possibly can. And the decisions will be made, but not anytime soon, it will be in the next five or six weeks before the season finishes.”
A decision to be made…
Barkhuizen will be determined to make an impact on proceedings in the final weeks of the season, with a return potentially on the cards after the international break.
He has been a good servant at Deepdale but injuries have prevented him from making significant progress, but there is no doubt that he can be areal nuisance for Championship defenders on his day.
He has managed 38 goals and 21 assists for the club across all competitions, so Lowe and co may well have a tough decision on their hands when it comes to Barkhuizen’s future.