Written by Warren Hollidge

They say that fans should never fall in love with a loan player, but in the case of Cameron Archer, it could prove to be quite a challenge for fans to forget. A winter loan signing from Premier League outfit Aston Villa, Archer has been instrumental in giving Preston some much needed firepower in the forward department, scoring 7 goals in 20 appearances for the Championship side as the club managed to achieve a midtable finish.

Archer returns to Villa Park this summer with an uncertain future, something Preston plans to take full advantage of, with Peter Ridsdale claiming the club will match any Championship offer for the 20-year-old and has a space saved for him within the squad.

Archers’ talent however, has not gone unnoticed. Both Middlesbrough and recently relegated Watford have both shown interest in young talent, the latter of which will have the financial ability to go toe-to-toe with Preston in offering Villa for the youngsters. Worse still in has now been revealed that Scottish Premier side Rangers, are also interested in bringing the youngster to the Ibrox, either on loan or as part of a permanent deal.

The Scottish side have several key advantages in this transfer race. Of course, one of the key advantages is that Rangers is the former club of Villa’s manager Steven Gerrard and, knowing the system of Rangers well and their ability to utilize younger talents, may see the move as being ideal for the lad. Another bonus that the Rangers can offer Archer is the prospect of European football. Despite the outcome of the final in Saville, it is clear that in Europe’s second-rate competition, they are a force that should not be underestimated, beating the likes of Dortmund.

This move would be ideally suited to the youngster, playing in a position for a club that thrives on attacking football under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, in a league where his confidence could grow to match his already impressive skills.

Ultimately Aston Villa will not decide the fate of this young prospect until after their pre-season campaign, however, with so many clubs circling like vultures, it can only be a matter of time until Archer makes his way out for the season.