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Preston North End v AFC Bournemouth - Sky Bet Championship

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Interview: Preston fan George says Dan Iversen is “one of the best keepers in the Championship”

Following Sunderland’s recent link with Leicester goalkeeper Dan Iversen, we spoke to Preston reporter George Hodgson to find out how the Dane performed under Alex Neil at Preston.

Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

Matthew Crichton: Dan Iversen won Preston’s Player of the Year award last season in the Championship, just how good is he?

George Hodgson: Yeah he’s an outstanding goalkeeper. Iversen regularly made saves you couldn’t quite believe and he has a priceless ability to win you points single-handedly.

He fully deserved all of the accolades that came his way.


MC: In terms of style, is he more of a modern sweeper keeper or more a no-nonsense traditional goalie?

GH: Definitely the latter. His distribution and more ‘modern’ qualities did improve during his time at Deepdale, especially when Ryan Lowe came in last December, but he lives for saving shots.

He observed, in one of his own interviews, that some goalkeepers ‘can’t save a ball these days’, which did make me laugh. He’s a big presence between the sticks.

Denmark v Croatia: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 1
The 24-year-old is currently away with Denmark where he is third-choice goalkeeper.
Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

MC: With Danish teammate Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Ward ahead of him in the Leicester pecking order, at nearly 25 do you think he is looking for a permanent club to settle and push forward?

GH: I believe Leicester will listen to permanent offers this summer, but are reluctant to loan him out at this stage as they’d like him involved in pre-season.

Schmeichel has one-year left on his deal but Iversen is a player who wants to play week-in-week-out, so I can’t see sitting on the bench next year interesting him at all. He is under a long-term contract with the Foxes, so he will likely demand a decent fee.


MC: His main competition would be Sunderland academy graduate Anthony Patterson, who ended the season fantastically, do you think Iversen would join to start as number two or is this a clear first choice signing?

GH: He wouldn’t sign to be second fiddle, in my opinion. He’s proven he’s capable of being one of the best goalkeepers in the Championship and may even feel he is above that level now.


MC: Iversen is currently contracted until 2025, how much money do you think it would take for Leicester to sell him permanently?

GH: You can snap up goalkeepers for cheaper than other positions, so I’d hazard a guess at the £2-3million range, but I wouldn’t blame Leicester if they asked for more.

Sam Johnstone went to West Brom for around £7m in 2018.

Millwall v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship - The Den
Iversen kept 23 clean sheets with 71 matches during multiple loan spells with Preston.
Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

MC: With Preston and Middlesbrough both interested, do you think Alex Neil is the reason Sunderland are the reported front runners?

GH: As far as I’m aware, PNE aren’t at the table for Iversen. They have other targets and it’s unlikely they’ll go back for him - not because he isn’t good enough, but because they’re most likely wanting to spend their money elsewhere.

He’s spent the last 18 months at Deepdale and, with another loan seemingly off the cards, is unlikely to come back. Iversen only played under Neil for a couple of months at PNE but that’s better than nothing and can surely only help the Black Cats, if they are keen.

The Dane is a very down to earth lad, who will want a good goalkeeping coach to work under and a fan base he can build a strong rapport with. He really bought into North End as a club; you never felt as if he was only here for himself.


MC: In terms of moving forward, do you think the 24-year-old has the potential to play at a higher level?

GH: Yeah one hundred percent. We’ve had Jordan Pickford and Johnstone on loan at PNE in recent years and Iversen is held in a similar regard to those.

He was brilliant for North End and the shot-stopping ability he has will serve him well wherever he goes. He’ll perhaps need to tidy up his ability with his feet, if he does want to be a regular in the Premier League one day.


MC: Overall, do you think Iversen would be a success at Sunderland if this deal takes place?

GH: If there is some truth to the links then of course. He has been a standout goalkeeper in the Championship for the last year-and-a-half and would be an incredible addition for any second-tier side.

He’d play 46 games and probably win 10+ points alone over the course of the campaign.

Sunderland v Rotherham United - EFL League 1
Iversen faced Sunderland during Rotherham’s League One promotion season in 2019/20 season.
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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