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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Sam Johnstone returns to Preston on loan from Manchester United

Sam Johnstone was part of the Preston side that won last season's League One playoff final.

Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has returned to Preston North End on loan.

Johnstone, who helped Preston secure promotion to the Championship last season, returns to Deepdale on an 28-day emergency deal, although that may be extended.

Johnstone had found himself behind David De Gea and Sergio Romero at Old Trafford this season and his agent was unhappy with the lack of opportunities the 22-year-old had been given.

Johnstone kept 12 clean sheets during his 25 appearances for Preston last season, including the 4-0 playoff final win over Swindon, and he told the club's official website: "It's good to eventually come back, I'm glad I'm back and hopefully I can start playing games now.

"It's great to be around the team at Manchester United, but I am 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.

"My last game here for Preston was at Wembley, it was a great day, but now we've got to kick on. I've seen the results that the lads have been getting recently and hopefully we can carry that on."

Johnstone arrives after Sunderland recalled Jordan Pickford from his loan spell and Preston boss Simon Grayson added: "Sam is someone we know very well and someone we tried to sign in the summer. It is a big boost to have him available and back at the football club again.

"Jordan has gone back and we would like to thank him for his efforts whilst he was here. It is no surprise, considering how well he has done, that they want to have a look at him. He was fantastic to work with and he contributed majorly to us, but that disappointing news was countered by the news we were able to bring Sam back to the football club.

"We made no secret of the fact we wanted Sam back in the summer and we made a huge effort to get it done, but it didn't materialise then. However, we are in a good position now, bringing in someone who knows all about us, knows the players and the way we work and hopefully he will slot back in just how he left us at Wembley."

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