Jordan ready for PNE action

Jordan Hugill was PNE's top scorer last season with 13 goals
Jordan Hugill was PNE's top scorer last season with 13 goals
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Jordan Hugill is preparing to spearhead Preston’s attack this season after the latest round of speculation over his future was batted away.

The close season began in May with the PNE front man being linked with a move to Wolves.

That story surfaced again this week but appears to have little substance to it.

Hugill was on the Wolves radar earlier in the summer, with the West Midlands club believed to have enquired.

That interest waned when Paul Lambert left the head coach role at Molineux, Nuno Espírito Santo appointed in his place.

It was reported that Wolves could come back in for Hugill but PNE sources say there has been no contact since earlier in the summer.

Last season was Hugill’s breakthrough campaign at Deepdale in terms of starts in the first team.

He started 37 of North End’s 50 games, finishing as top scorer with 13 goals.

Hugill also won the club’s goal of the season award for his solo effort at Aston Villa in January.

As things stand, Hugill will have Tom Barkhuizen, Sean Maguire, Callum Robinson and Stevie May as competition up front in the season ahead.

Eoin Doyle is back at the club after last season’s loan stint at Portsmouth but it looks like his future is away from Deepdale.

In terms of the supply line up to Hugill and Co, last week’s arrival of Josh Harrop from Manchester United has 
added to that.

Harrop can operate in the No.10 role or out wide rather than as an out-and-out striker.

Fellow summer buy Maguire is due to join up with the North End squad later next month.

When signing the 18-goal striker from Cork, PNE agreed to let him stay with the Irish side until the final week of July.

Maguire will get a taste of European football before he lands at Preston.

Cork face Estonian outfit Levadin Tallinn in the first leg of the Europa League first qualifying round tomorrow.

The return leg is next week, with the winners facing either Cypriot side AEK Larnaca or Lincoln FC from Gibraltar.

So while Maguire will not do much of pre-season with North End, he will be getting plenty of games under his belt with Cork.

Their campaign started in February, so match fitness will not be an issue.

Obviously, there is the step up to the Championship which has to be made, one which Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle made last term.

Meanwhile, PNE’s visit to Sheffield Wednesday has been brought forward 24 hours to March 30 (Good Friday).

The Hillsborough clash will still have a 3pm start.