Preston boss Alex Neil says Callum Robinson deserved his Premier League move on the back of his performances for the Lilywhites.
The attacker completed a move to top-flight new boys Sheffield United yesterday, linking up with them in the Algarve where they are on a training camp.
He finished as North End’s top scorer last season with 13 goals, so leaves on a high.
The Blades have broken their transfer record to land him, paying out in the region of £8m.
If that figure is correct, Robinson would be Preston’s second-highest sale after that of Jordan Hugill for £9.5m to West Ham 18 months ago.
Addressing Robinson’s move, Neil told PNE’s official website: “We are in a situation where we have been given a good offer. Callum has seen his future in the Premier League if that opportunity came along, which it did, and we had to try and maximise the cash intake for us, so we can try and strengthen the squad and strengthen the club.
“I am gutted Callum has left, he was a great lad about the place.
“But he has deserved his chance and he has worked very hard for a couple of seasons.
“He has improved no end and had been a double-figure goalscorer for us for the last few seasons.
“We should remember him fondly and wish him all the best.
“He has deserved it – he scored 13 goals last season, having missed four months of the season – so I’m hopeful he will go on and do well at his new club and what it does is allow us to go and strengthen the club even more.
“If he had walked away for nothing at the end of the season, that wouldn’t have been good business sense for the club going forward.”