Dave Seddon’s pressview

New PNE signing Tom Barkhuizen

New PNE signing Tom Barkhuizen

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The manner in which Tom Barkhuizen has arrived at Preston North End is slightly different to the norm but the punt taken on him has to be applauded.

Barkhuizen has got six weeks of training and little else ahead of him before officially becoming a PNE player when the January transfer window opens for business.

A pre-contract agreement and a few weeks on the sidelines is not how things usually get done.

But if that is what it takes to get him here and give the winger’s former club Morecambe a route out of their financial difficulties via the compensation agreed, then so be it.

Barkhuizen comes with plenty of potential and at the age of 23, is probably beyond the raw talent stage.

He has 149 first-team appearances on the clock, with 32 goals to his name.

Coming to North End now gives him the chance to play in the Championship again, having had a taste of it at Blackpool in the 2013/14 campaign.

Home for him for the last 18 months has been the Globe Arena, a half-century plus of games for the Shrimps seeing him net 17 goals from the wing.

I like the idea of taking a player from the lower divisions and giving them a chance at a higher level.

Remember David Nugent? Silly question really in these parts.

Signed for £99,000 and sold for £6m, with him scoring a bagful of goals in between.

I’m not saying Barkhuizen will produce such a profit or suggesting that is the intention.

But it is a similar low risk investment, a chance for an ambitious young player to prove himself higher up.

Preston have had occasions of late when they have gone down a similar route.

You could put Alan Browne, Jordan Hugill and Chris Maxwell in that bracket.

Browne came from Cork, Hugill from Port Vale – albeit in the same division as North End at the time – and Maxwell from Fleetwood.

All three have done well to date and could be put into the bargain category.

Hugill came for £15,000 youth compensation, Browne for a similar amount, Maxwell on a Bosman.

We are talking six figures with Barkhuizen but not at a bank-breaking sum by any stretch of the imagination.

Like many of Simon Grayson’s buys, Barkhuizen has more than one string to his bow when it comes to where he can play on the pitch.

Grayson reeled off a list of positions the new boy can play – winger, striker, wing-back.

Barkhuizen coming through the door, came in a week when other things happening in football had stirred my grumpy side into action.

The EFL shooting itself in both feet with regards the Checkatrade Trophy, was bewildering.

In their wisdom, they dished out fines to clubs who did not tow the line with the competition’s selection criteria.

While Premier League clubs, unwanted in the competition in the first place, were encouraged to give youngsters a chance, clubs in Leagues One and Two were penalised for doing the same.

If ever prizes were handed out for ruining a perfectly decent tournament and being totally pig-headed about it, then the EFL should take the gold medal many times over.

The Wayne Rooney saga is another subject which has annoyed me this week.

Talk about over-playing a situation. Yes, Rooney might have had one too many in the hotel bar after England beat Scotland last Friday.

That’s my point, it was in what should have been the privacy of the team hotel bar, not on the local high street.

When England failed at the Euros in the summer, one accusation thrown around was the supposed gulf between players and supporters.

Last weekend, Rooney was in the company of fans, ones who sadly could not wait to send their phone pictures to the tabloids.

Finally, the BBC’s Price of Football study, published this week, gets taken very seriously but is hardly an exact science.

It is a bit of fun looking at how much a pie and cup of tea costs but I think the ticket price situation gets a bit lost.

The study made a great play of how Premier League football is getting cheaper to watch than the Championship.

With the money top-flight clubs get from their television deal, gate revenue pales into insignificance – it is pennies down the back of the sofa.

In the Football League, cash from ticket sales is the major source of revenue.

Maybe the study should address the massive inbalance between the Premier League and the rest of football?