Preston North End have completed the permanent signing of Manchester United midfielder Ben Pearson for an undisclosed fee.
The Oldham-born player, who turned 21 last week, has signed a two and a half year contract at Deepdale until the summer of 2018.
The England U20 international, who has been handed the No.4 shirt, spent the latter part of last season and the first half of the 2015/16 campaign on loan at Barnsley, racking up 50 appearances for the Tykes.
He finalised the move on Monday morning, after completing a medical, and will go straight into the reckoning for the league clash with Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Tuesday night.
Speaking about his new recruit, manager Simon Grayson said: “We knew about Ben whilst he was at Manchester United and he was the right age to go out and get some games and we have kept our eye on him whilst he has been at Barnsley.
“He has played close on 50 games on the spin for them. He has played as a holding midfield player; played in a three getting forward, and we see him as energetic, box-to-box, likes a tackle and coming from Manchester United he is decent on the ball as well.
“He’s at the right age; wants to go and make a good career in the game and we are delighted that we have been backed by the owner to spend the money to bring Ben here and also delighted he has come here and committed his future to being a Championship player and beyond.”
Over the past couple of seasons the manager has talked about signing players after their first loan move, having got some valuable experience and Ben is another example of that.
“When they are going from the big Premiership clubs, they have had everything done for them,” continued the gaffer. “They have the best facilities, the best pitches, the best canteens, they don’t have to do anything for themselves, but then they go out into the real world and learn and develop, getting some league football.
“You have seen over the years, many layers who have turned out to be top players have gone out on loan to other clubs and got the experience and Ben fits into that category.
“DJ (Daniel Johnson) is a good example of understanding what it is like to play men’s competitive football and see if they can handle everything; the physical side of the game and how to improve week in and week out.
“We take into consideration all these things every time we try to sign a player and Ben ticks a lot of those boxes in a positive manner.”
Ben was delighted to be able to put down some permanent roots, saying: “I learnt about the interest a few days ago. I was told a bid had been made and straight away I wanted to come. After that it all moved quite quickly.
“I wanted to make a permanent move. I got to an age where I needed to start playing games and I moved to Barnsley, which was a good start to my men’s football career, but now is the time to step up and I want to work hard get back to the top with Preston North End.”