Preston North End have confirmed the signing of Manchester United midfielder Ben Pearson for an undisclosed fee. He joins on a two-and-a-half year contract and is in line to make his debut against Bristol City tomorrow evening.

The 21-year-old struggling for first-team opportunities whilst at Old Trafford but has impressed over two loan spells with League One side Barnsley. The England Under-20 international has been assigned the number four squad number at Deepdale, and shall instantly compete with the wide range of midfielders already on the books with the Lilywhites.

Pearson was delighted to make the move into the Championship and cannot wait to get started and show the Preston supporters what he is capable of,

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“I learnt about the interest a few days ago. I was told a bid had been made and straight away I wanted to come. After that it all moved quite quickly.

I wanted to make a permanent move. I got to an age where I needed to start playing games and I moved to Barnsley, which was a good start to my men’s football career, but now is the time to step up and I want to work hard to get to the top with Preston North End.”

Equally Simon Grayson was delighted to bolster his squad for the signing of the energetic midfielder and revealed he is a player that they have been monitoring for some time,

“We knew about Ben whilst he was at Manchester United and he was the right age to go out and get some games and we have kept our eye on him whilst he has been at Barnsley.

He has played close on 50 games on the spin for them. He has played as a holding midfielder; played in a three getting forward, and we see him as energetic, box-to-box, likes a tackle and coming from Manchester United he is decent on the ball as well.

He’s at the right age; wants to go and make a good career in the game and we are delighted that we have been backed by the owner to spend the money to bring Ben here and also delighted he has come here and committed his future to being a Championship player and beyond.”

Pearson will battle with the likes of Daniel Johnson, John Welsh, Neil Kilkenny, Paul Gallagher and Alan Browne for a place in the centre of midfield. As he is match-fit already he should go straight into the squad for tomorrow’s trip to Ashton Gate.

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I currently work as a Championship Research Analyst for Onside Analysis Ltd. In this role I provide match previews and reviews for every Championship game. I also delve into matches from all across the globe, gaining an insight into football from different leagues in different countries. I came into this role shortly after graduating from The University of Hull after studying BSc Sports Coaching & Performance. I am a Lincoln City fan and thankfully they're back in The72!!