Why these two defenders can solve Steven Gerrard’s CB dilemma

Why these two defenders can solve Steven Gerrard’s CB dilemma

 Article by: Richard

Paul Huntington of Preston North End has reputedly been targeted by Steve McClaren of Queens Park Rangers to join the London club for a reputed £1 million deal for the 6’ 3” PNE defender.

Seemingly McClaren is looking to build a side capable of challenging for promotion this season and he thinks that 30-year-old Huntington, who is a left sided centre back with enormous experience, could very well be the answer to tighten up the defence.

Paul Huntington in not a Franz Beckenbauer style defender, but he is strong in the air, a hard tackler who doesn’t take any prisoners as he gets stuck in during every tough Championship match. He has a great left foot, a terrific temperament and has outstanding experience of playing at a high level in England. Just the kind of player who would be ideal for Rangers in the SPL!

All his managers pick him to captain their sides due to the leadership qualities he continues to show at training and especially throughout their matches. Paul is one of the most consistent left-footed defenders in the Championship and last season featured in 44 of out of North End’s 46 Championship matches plus 2 F A Cup games, due to an injury and picking up 1 suspension.

PNE’s ‘Cumbrian Cannavaro’ is the fans song about the comparison between Italian great Fabio Cannavaro, the 2006 Ballon d’Or winner, and centre half Huntington. The Preston fans have certainly embraced him to their hearts. It may be an unlikely nickname by the PNE centre-half’s own admission, but the chant has become commonplace up and down the country.

Paul thinks it is very flattering and says:

 “It’s quite funny and I will take it, and it continues to make me smile every time I hear them singing my song”.

Huntington is an optimist and his glass-is-always-a-half-full kind of guy and looks to be positive
in everything he does. He is very well liked character in the dressing room and loved by the fans.

Paul has made more than 405 career appearances during his many years of playing in League One and in the Championship and as a youngster in the EPL. He has accumulated more than 245 appearances and scored 17 goals for Preston during the last six seasons at the club.

The Carlisle-born Huntington started his career in the EPL with Newcastle United in 2006, where he was capped by England at U18 level and played in 11 matches for the Geordies when he was only 18.

On 22 May ‘12, he signed for Yeovil Town where he became captain of the club and an ever present in the heart of defence. Huntington announced that he had rejected a new deal because he wanted to move to a club closer to the north of England where he was born. He played 77 times and scored 7 goals over a successful 2-year contract.

In 2014-15, in his third season at Preston he played 47 matches for the League One side and scored 9 goals and won the Preston North End “Player of the Year’ award. He also experienced the pleasure of scoring at Wembley as they secured promotion to the extremely tough, difficult Championship league. His contribution was greatly appreciated by captaining his team to win their way back up

Last season Huntington became the longest-serving current player at the club and played another 46 matches and again he knocked in a goal. Paul is already approaching 250 appearances for the Lilywhites, and has put pen to paper on a contract until the summer of 2021, therefore a transfer fee of a reported £1M would be involved for any team interested in hiring his services.

Is his pedigree good enough to play for a giant club like Rangers?

Meanwhile at Loftus Road, 31-year-old, 6’ 2” centre-back Nedum Onuoha has left QPR after six years at the club, and Sunderland want to sign him on a free transfer deal, but they can’t make any signings until their takeover is finally complete – a great opportunity for Gerrard to jump in and solve his CB dilemma at no cost.

Although he was born in Nigeria, he played 20 times for the England U21’s and scored twice for them, between 2005 until 2009. You don’t play 20 games at centre half for this side unless you are a top class young defender and very few players accumulate this amount of games for them.

You also don’t play for Man City, Sunderland and QPR for so long if you cannot defend properly. He has pace, strength, ability, is tenacious, loves a tackle, is no slouch in the air, and is now very experienced and a true professional. He is an extremely hard worker, has a great attitude and is totally dedicated to succeeding on and off the park.

In 2006-07, 19-year-old Onuoha enjoyed several spells in the first team and really established himself in the side. The young Manchester born lad was delighted to captain the Manchester City side in a 2–1 victory over Bristol City in the League Cup second round. He played in 19 games and was rewarded with a new four-year contract.

Season 2009-10, saw him miss games until Nov ’09, down to injury and played in 13 of the last matches before leaving on a season-long-loan to Sunderland for season 2010-11, where he played in 32 EPL games.

At the start of the 2015–16 season Onuoha was appointed club captain, and on 27 Apr ‘18, it was announced that Onuoha would be leaving QPR at the end of the 2017-18 season, bringing an end to his six-and-a-half year stay.

At 31 he could easily play for another three or four seasons in Scotland.

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  1. I know that SG et al. are going the youthful route. However, they both sound like crunch time fills if all else does not pan out. Whomever, 'those' prospects currently in the works are. Both have had long careers with respectable clubs.
    I don't know either way to be frank. I guess that's why I come here…lol! Informative.

  2. should sign barijsic from osijek along with steven davis to control that midfield and curtis maine and we will mount a serious challenge. the big no.9 from osijeck looked useful. i was also impressed with melling of rosenborg, a cross beween papac & modra in the way he played.

  3. I think the team is strong enough for now we got the players to take on any team in Scotland and win win win,we should bring in only players we need in winter window some would go for £200.000 i say keep what money we have left for now,the count down has started so let the show begin.

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