Ryan Lowe talks about Tom Barkhuizen’s likely return to the Preston North End squad

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After a humiliating 4-1 loss to Blackburn in midweek, one bright spot for the club is the possibility of Tom Barkhuizen returning for the match. Ryan Lowe announced on the club’s official Twitter account that he could play against the Tykes if he was fit enough. Preston will play Barnsley on their annual ‘Gentry Day’ this weekend, and the Lilywhites will be anxious to win, regardless of whether it affects the Championship table.

The 28-year-old will no doubt be eager to return to action, especially as his contract is set to expire at the end of the season. He’s been a member of the first team for a long time. He’s been a first-team regular at Deepdale for the past six seasons, appearing in just under 200 league appearances for the club.

However, in terms of appearances, he has been much more restrained this year. Due to a series of bruises and ailments, he has only appeared in 13 league games this season, with ten starts and no goals.

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His most recent appearance was in January, which was his lowest production since moving to Preston and the fewest games he has appeared in for North End. That isn’t good news for the forward in a contract year. However, after appearing for the club’s reserve team in midweek, there’s a chance he’ll be called up.

On the club’s official Twitter account, manager Ryan Lowe stated regarding the player: “We’ll see how he is today to see if he’s fit and available to come with us after he gets 45 minutes on Tuesday.” With only two games remaining, we don’t want to rush him back too quickly. It would be nice to see Tom Barkhuizen have a game in the final two games of the season, especially if it could be his final appearance at Deepdale before departing the club.

Given how little he has played this year and how infrequently he has appeared, it appears likely he will not be re-signed by the Lilywhites. He’s a natural winger, but his new system has no room for wingers. Barkhuizen might then be on his way to greener pastures this summer, although he could say his goodbyes to Preston fans first.

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