The youngster emerged from the academy setup during the most recent campaign to establish himself as one of English football's most promising talents.
Four goals were scored in EFL Cup fixtures against Barrow and Chelsea, his contributions earning him three substitute outings in the Premier League before Dean Smith's departure in November.
At Deepdale, Archer showcased his talent at Championship level, scoring seven times in 20 appearances to put him into the thinking of both Gerrard and other clubs for the next 12 months.
According to the Express & Star, West Brom have joined the race to sign the England Under-21 international on a season-long loan deal.
However, United States international Daryl Dike stands to be available for the start of 2022-23, and the addition of Archer would provide Bruce with one of the strongest frontlines in the division on paper.
West Brom will have to remain patient, though, with Gerrard not being prepared to make a decision on Archer's future until he has featured in pre-season.
That moment may not come until several weeks into their preparations with the prospect only just starting his summer break after two weeks of representing England Under-21s.
During that period, Archer scored four goals in as many appearances, contributing strikes against Albania, Kosovo and Slovenia respectively.
The latter of those clubs have just appointed Michael Beale as their new head coach, someone who is familiar to Archer having departed Villa to move to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Scottish giants Rangers - Gerrard's former club - are also said to be open to handing the player his first taste of European football. body check tags ::