PNE’s magnificent seven

Loan switch: Anthony Elding has arrived for a month from Grimsby
Loan switch: Anthony Elding has arrived for a month from Grimsby
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Preston North End will potentially have seven strikers trying to fire them into the upper reaches of the League One table after the loan capture of Anthony Elding.

North End yesterday signed the Grimsby front man on loan until January 1, and he went straight into the squad for tomorrow’s home game against Brentford.

And there could be a permanent move to Deepdale in the offing for 30-year-old Elding if he impresses between now and New Year’s Day.

In recent games, Stuart Beavon and Jack King have been the front pairing.

They’ve been backed up by Akpo Sodje, Graham Cummins and Chris Beardsley from the bench.

Lee Trundle returned to full training this week and should be available for action in the next few weeks.

And now Elding has been added to the mix to further increase the competition.

Westley was keen to add to the PNE squad, with the loan window due to close at the end of next week.

He said: “You don’t want to leave yourself light over the Christmas period.

“It’s an important time and having a little bit of extra strength is good.

“Whether you use it or not isn’t important, but just topping the squad up here and there can do you good.

“Up until the end of November you always have the safety valve of going out and getting an emergency loan, but once it shuts, you don’t want to leave yourself short of options.”

Elding’s loan switch to Preston sees him link up for a second time with Westley.

He played for him during Westley’s first spell in charge at Stevenage, netting 50 goals in 106 games. Stevenage was one of several stop-offs for Elding in a well-travelled career.

Stockport, Leeds, Crewe and Rochdale are among the clubs he has served.

He also had a short spell playing for Hungarian club Ferencvaros.

Elding, who joined Grimsby in July last year, was on North End’s radar in the summer, with the Mariners rebuffing an enquiry.

Preston were further bolstered when seven-goal Sodje yesterday extended his Deepdale stay by another month. This is the fifth short-term contract he has signed since arriving in the summer.

And Sodje is likely to put pen to paper again next month to extend into January.

Westley will run a fitness check over Jeffrey Monakana today before selecting his side to face eighth-placed Brentford.

The winger has been struggling with an injury picked up in last week’s 4-1 win at Stevenage.

Having 19-year-old Monakana available would be a big boost against a Bees side which Westley rates highly.

The PNE boss said: “I see Brentford as being one of the top sides in the league.

“They have only lost three games, although Stevenage had only lost two before last weekend.”