Owner's advisor Peter Ridsdale on a busier-than-expected transfer window for Preston North End

Peter Ridsdale was pleased with the work Preston North End did during what turned out to be an extremely busy transfer window.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 8:00 am

The Lilywhites made eight signings – seven of them being loans – and saw eight players leave Deepdale.

New contracts were also agreed with Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson.

On the flip side they lost Ben Davies and Ben Pearson who had reached the last few months of their contracts.

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January arrival Greg Cunningham

Ridsdale, who represents and advises North End owner Trevor Hemmings, takes the view that the January window was played out against a background of a financial reset in football.

Now that the window has closed, the next task for Ridsdale is to try and turn a couple of the incoming loans into permanent deals.

Championship clubs can only name five loan players in a matchday squad so as things stand, two of the loanees would be sat on the sidelines.

Ridsdale told the Lancashire Post: “We went into the window wanting to freshen the squad up.

“We had to deal with a few things which weren’t in our control. Declan Rudd getting injured was one of them, we weren’t sure what would happen with the two Bens.

“We weren’t sure about Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson. In the end we have done three or four different pieces of work.

“If you had told me at the start of the month it was going to be as dramatic as it was, I wouldn’t have believed you.

“What we have done is put a balanced squad together which is as good as we could have expected in the circumstances.”

Of the loans which could be turned into full-time moves, Greg Cunningham and Ched Evans would, on paper, seem the most likely.

Making progress on that front before Saturday’s game with Rotherham is a target.

Reflecting further on the window just closed, Ridsdale said: “We always look at ways of freshening things up.

“We weren’t able to do it last summer because things were much more difficult.

“There was lots of uncertainty and no income, there still isn’t any income but with the backing of the owner we have been able to do a lot of work this time.

“I think the financial dynamics in football changed in January. How much people wanted for players changed, teams aren’t demanding big loan fees for players. There’s been a financial reset.

“People have commented that we haven’t used the loan market a lot before.

“It’s need-must, we had the injury to Declan Rudd, we lost Ben Davies and Ben Pearson.

“We reacted to that and some very good players were available in the loan market.”

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