Carlisle United have signed teenage Preston forward Ethan Walker on loan ahead of their first league game of the season.

The 18-year-old has linked up with the Cumbrians on a season-long deal.

Left-sided Walker could be involved in today's League Two opener at Cambridge after completing his move to Cumbria.

He is the 14th signing made by boss Chris Beech this summer and his arrival bolsters United's attacking options with recent signing Brennan Dickenson out to injury for several months.

Preston-born Walker, who can play along the front line as well as wide on the left, has made two senior appearances for his parent club.

The first, against Aston Villa in December 2018, saw Walker make history at the Deepdale club.

That day's substitute appearance made him Preston's youngest ever first-team player at just 16 years and 156 days.

Walker, who has been on North End's books from under-nine level and played for the youth team at 14, spent time on loan at Altrincham last season.

Blues boss Beech said today on United's website: “Ethan’s an extremely talented young player, and very well thought of by Alex Neil and the staff at Preston North End. 

“Having done his pre-season with their first team he’s in great shape and game ready having started against Everton last weekend.

“He’s an exciting player that can play anywhere across the front line. Technically very good, he’s quick, strong and dynamic with his movement, and at youth team level he’s continuously hit double figures with his goals.”

“I felt that with some of the injuries we’ve picked up during the last few weeks, particularly with Brennan [Dickenson], I wanted to bolster our attacking options with some pace and energy, and fortunately Alex Neil and Preston have trusted us to take Ethan.

“This is now his opportunity to come in and show me, Alex and the footballing world what he can do. He’ll be doing that in a positive environment and with an excellent group of lads around him to learn from and grow with.”

Deepdale boss Alex Neil recently involved Walker in a first-team friendly against Everton and said the young player could have a bright future.

Speaking in the Lancashire Post, Neil said: "Ethan has 100% got a chance of making it.

“He has got a trick where he can go past someone and he’s got a goal in him.

“What we need to do is get a good understanding of the game into his head in terms of tactics."

He is the second Preston player to join Carlisle this summer, with defender Jack Armer having joined permanently.

United are also understood to have been interested in midfielder Tyrhys Dolan before he joined Blackburn.