Hugill's huge potential

Simon Grayson wants to see Jordan Hugill continue his development with Preston amid Ipswich's interest in him.

Friday, 13th January 2017, 5:00 am
Preston have turned down a bid from Ipswich for Jordan Hugill

The Lilywhites turned down a £1.5m bid from the Tractor Boys for Hugill and Grayson thinks the striker has plenty more to offer.

Hugill is likely to lead the attack against Brighton at Deepdale tomorrow, the league leaders’ visit coming on the back of running Arsenal so close in the FA Cup last week.

“Ipswich asked the question and that was refuted very quickly,” said Grayson.

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“We don’t want to lose any of our players, we have had enquiries for some of our other players, which shows you the team is doing well.

“People will always look at your good players in the structure of your team.

“We are not a selling club – while we have sold Bailey Wright and Joe Garner this season, that was more down to the players wanting to leave.

“We don’t want to sell Jordan because he is a good player and has a bright future.

“There was a bit of banter of the training ground when he mis-controlled one.

“I told him never mind £1m, we wouldn’t even get £20,000 for him!

“Every club in Europe is vulnerable while the transfer window is open – every player has his price.

“However, we are very much in the mould where we don’t have to sell players unless we think it is the right thing to do.”

Hugill is PNE’s joint leading scorer with Callum Robinson and Simon Makienok, the trio having netted six goals each.

Grayson admits the goals return could be better from Hugill, but points out other strengths in his game.

Said Grayson: “Jordan is still raw but has got loads of enthusiasm, which is a massive part of his game.

“He needs to tidy up on his finishing, be more clinical.

“Remember this kid, until a few years ago, was working as a waiter in a cocktail bar.

“That is how far he has come in a short space of time.

“He’s had disappointments with a long-term injury and sendings-off but he just lives for today.

“You give me a 6ft 2ins striker who can run the channels, hold the ball up and gets on the end of things, and most of them are playing in the Premier League.

“We have a lad with the raw ingredients and spends a lot of time on the training pitch looking to improve.”

PNE will be without Ben Pearson who starts a two-game ban tomorrow, while Jermaine Beckford serves the final part of a four-match suspension.

A knee injury sidelines Alex Baptiste but Paul Gallagher should be fine after being substituted against Arsenal.

Looking at what Brighton have to offer, Grayson said: “I have huge respect for them and Chris Hughton.

“I think they can win the Championship in front of Newcastle because of the way they play and how organised they are.

“I see a lot of similarities in them to how Burnley were last year.”