Preston goalkeeper Chris Maxwell set to complete loan switch to Hibernian
Preston goalkeeper Chris Maxwell is poised to finalise a loan move to Hibernian today which will effectively bring the curtain down on his time at Deepdale.
The Welshman is joining the Scottish Premiership club on a season-long loan which takes him to the end of his PNE contract next summer.
Maxwell had a medical in Edinburgh on Friday and the paperwork will be finalised on the deal today.
The loan deal has been a few weeks in the making, with Hibs’ interest going back to last month.
Initially the two clubs were far apart on a figure for how much of Maxwell’s wages Hibs would pay.
However, a compromise has now been reached which allowed Maxwell to travel to Scotland on Friday.
Hibs have done most of their summer recruitment in England, with Maxwell the fifth player signed from a club south of the border.
The Easter Road outfit’s boss Paul Heckingbottom says one of Maxwell’s strengths which was a big attraction was his comfort with the ball at his feet.
Heckingbottom, who used to manage Barnsley and Leeds, said: “He certainly has the pedigree to challenge for the number one spot.
“We don’t want to bring a number two in, we want someone in who’s going to compete and hopefully make the team better.
“By adding that competition we are improving the side.
“Now Chris coming in adds a powerful, athletic goalkeeper who is good with his feet and can help us play out from the back.
“I’ve seen a lot of him since his days at Fleetwood.”
Maxwell played 83 games in the PNE keeper’s jersey, the vast majority coming before January 2018.
From September 2016 to January last year, he enjoyed an unbroken run of league games before Declan Rudd got ahead of him.
His last start for Preston was in the 1-1 draw at Ipswich last November, a game in which he was sent-off for two bookable offences and Paul Gallagher went in goal.
In January Maxwell went to Charlton on loan but didn’t play a game.
He had a decent record when facing penalties, saving five in competitive action and one in last summer’s friendly with West Ham.
The last of those came in the dramatic 3-3 draw against Aston Villa last October.
Maxwell dived to hold a spot kick from Glenn Whelan, that the last kick of the game.
Even with his departure, four senior keepers remain on the Preston books – Rudd, Connor Ripley, Michael Crowe and Mathew Hudson.
There is also second-year scholar Jimmy Corcoran who has a promising future.