Date: 1st January 2016 at 2:44am
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Former academy star makes loan move

Goalkeeper Sam Johnston has returned to former club Preston North End on loan until the end of the season. The academy graduate has spent loan spells at Scunthorpe, Walsall, Yeovil Town and Doncaster Rovers as well as helping Preston gain promotion last season.

United’s official website notes: Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is joining Preston North End on loan for the second time in his fledgling career, after helping his hometown team earn promotion to the Championship last season.

The 22-year-old has yet to make his competitive debut for the Reds but he has played for the first team on pre-season tours and has gained a wealth of experience in the Football League.

The highlight of his CV so far must surely be the League One play-off final in May earlier this year; Johnstone kept a clean sheet at Wembley as Preston, a club his father Glenn played for, beat Swindon 4-0 to book their return to England’s second tier. The man himself is pleased to be making a return to Deepdale and is keen to get some regular first-team football under his belt.

“I’m delighted to be back and hopefully I can start playing some games,” he told Preston’s official website. “It’s great to be around the team at Manchester United, they are the biggest club in the world but, at the end of the day, I’m 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.”

Whether Johnstone has what it takes to eventually make the grade at United remains to be seen but at the age of 22 time is on his side, while many Reds who’ve seen him play are adamant he will one day be starring for the first team. If Johnstone is a success at Deepdale maybe next season he could move closer to United’s number one spot.