Andre Green has been struggling to adapt to life in the Championship with Preston North End and manager Alex Neil has been discussing the Aston Villa loanee’s time at Deepdale.
Neil said (via The Lancashire Evening Post): “Andre is in a position which a lot of the other lads who are not really featuring, are in. Who do you take out of the team to put him in?
“At the moment Andre has got a problem with his big toe. He’s got arthritis which means he’d had a few injections in it, so at the moment he’s not currently fit. However, that’s only been for the last couple of weeks.”
Although 21-year-old is currently out with a toe injury that arose at the start of November, prior to that Green had simply not been able to get into the Preston team, making just four substitute appearances.
With fellow youth prospect Rushian Hepburn-Murphy currently gaining sustained first-team action in his loan spell with Tranmere Rovers, Green is facing a crucial crossroads in his spell with the Championship side, and it will be vital that, once fit, he can impress Neil and earn a place in the starting XI.
Amid reports of the potential departure of Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia in January, manager Dean Smith could be looking to bolster the club’s attacking armoury in the coming transfer windows, so it’s crucial for Green that an extended run in the Preston first-team occurs if he is to be considered a genuine option back at B6.
However, the attacker will face a true challenge to get into the starting line-up in a side who sit second in the league table, vying for promotion to the Premier League, and have scored a league-high 31 goals so far in the 2019/20 season.
Green will have to impress when he returns to full fitness, but the Villa loanee faces a true test to gain a starting berth in a side who have been so impressive in the current campaign. It may well come down to what he can offer from the bench and in training.