January transfer window expected to see ins and outs within Preston squad

The January transfer window will have to be a two-way street for Preston North End with movement needed out of Deepdale as well as in.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 8:00 am

PNE, who last night had Saturday’s scheduled trip to Millwall postponed because of Covid-19 cases in the London club’s camp, see the window as a chance to allow Ryan Lowe to tweak the squad to his liking and freshen it up a bit.

Incoming business needs to be balanced by some exits, with the squad too big.

The Lilywhites have a 25-man senior squad registered with the EFL.

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Bambo Diaby

Josh Harrop, Jamie Thomas and Connor Ripley didn’t make that squad.

Nor did Izzy Brown after he ruptured an Achilles tendon in pre-season training.

Connor Wickham was registered when he signed a short-term deal in September but then removed from the squad after suffering a hamstring injury which needed surgery.

When you also consider there are a number of young players – who don’t have to be registered – hoping to catch the eye, it’s a big pool for Lowe to manage.

PNE have currently got ex-Barnsley defender Bambo Diaby training with them.

Diaby, 23, is approaching the end of a two-year ban from football after traces of higenamine were found in a sample provided by him.

The World Anti-Doping Agency classifies higenamine as a prohibited substance.

However, Diaby was cleared by the FA of knowingly ingesting it.

Whether North End make a move for the free agent in January will be up to Lowe.

Diaby coming to train with them pre-dated Lowe’s appointment as manager.

He will continue to run the rule over the defender in the coming weeks.

Lowe will now have more time with his players without the pressure of preparing for Millwall.

North End were informed yesterday afternoon that positive Covid tests had been returned at Millwall.

It was then a case of waiting for the EFL to postpone the game. The postponement means PNE don’t play against until Boxing Day when they host Sheffield United.

After the EFL announced the postponement, North End released a statement.

It read: “Millwall informed the EFL and the club that they would be unable to fulfil the fixture due to a significant number of positive Covid cases within the Millwall playing squad and support staff.

“The decision to postpone the game has been made following extensive dialogue with the EFL, Public Health England and Millwall’s safety advisory group. A rearranged date for this fixture will be confirmed in due course.”

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