PNE boss is a happy shopper

Will Keane is one of nine summer signings made by Preston
Will Keane is one of nine summer signings made by Preston
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Simon Grayson believes Preston North End recruited well during the summer transfer window.

There have been nine new arrivals since the end of last season, with five permanent deals and four loans done.

Tuesday’s signings of Stevie May and Eoin Doyle finished the shopping for the time being, although a centre-half could well arrive during the emergency loan window.

Lilywhites boss Grayson said: “Putting the last two pieces of the jigsaw in earlier this week was good.

“When I look back to the Swindon game at Wembley, since then our recruitment has gone really well.

“We haven’t taken a lot of players compared to some but the ones we have signed are of the right age and eagerness to be successful.

“They have the right quality to succeed and I’m pleased with how the squad looks.

“I think it is good that we have got the international break at the moment.

“It gives us the time to do some work on the training ground with the two new lads.

“Stevie and Eoin can have a few days to settle in, get to know the lads.

“We’ve got that little bit of time before playing Derby to work out how things are going to be done.”

The capture of May and Doyle are in addition to the incoming deals done over the course of the summer for Paul Gallagher, Jermaine Beckford, Will Keane, Jordan Pickford, Greg Cunningham, Marnick Vermijl and Chris Kirkland.

A 10th signing, a centre-half, had been lined-up but injuries at the club he was coming from meant the deal fell through on deadline day. Grayson could re-visit that one in the coming weeks as an emergency loan.

The market opens up next Wednesday, although loans are limited to 93 days.

In order for a 93-day loan to run through to the January window, it would need to wait until later this month to be done.

In terms of different options and cover, North End look strong up front with the addition of May and Doyle.

While they have been deprived of Beckford’s services until the winter – he was due to have knee surgery today – the new pair will join Keane, Joe Garner and Jordan Hugill on the list of striker options.

That gives Grayson the choice to rotate if necessary.

“It is harder physically and mentally in this division,” said Grayson.

“We are playing against stronger players, quicker ones and some who read the game far better than in League One.

“There is no better example than last weekend when Curtis Davies and Michael Dawson played against us.

“We have to be sharp to get the better of that standard of players, so it is nice to have the option to rotate.

“I also want to be able to look at the bench in games and see players who can come on to help change a game.”

l Deepdale hosts England Under-21s’ friendly with the United States Under-23s tonight (7.45pm), tickets cost £10 and £5 concessions. PNE season ticket holders can get half-price admission.