Preston North End’s big money signing Tom Bayliss aims to excite the PNE supporters

Tom Bayliss
Tom Bayliss

New boy Tom Bayliss wants to get the Preston North End fans ‘on the edge of their seats’ as he looks to make an impact at Deepdale.

The 20-year-old midfielder joined PNE from Coventry City yesterday, in time to be in the squad for today’s clash with Millwall at The Den.

He has signed a four-year contract, the transfer fee the usual ‘undisclosed’ in line with Football League rules.

But it is believed to be in and around the club record fee which North End paid for David Healy from Manchester United in December 2000.

The initial fee for Healy all those years ago was £1.5m but there were add-ons which were paid during his stay.

So it is safe to assume the fee for Bayliss was between the £1.5m and £1.8m mark.

Bayliss said: “I am here to improve and hopefully get the fans on the edge of their seat with exciting play and bring what I can to the table.

“I’m a box-to-box midfielder, I like to go past players and be creative.

“I also don’t mind getting my foot in and doing the dirty work so hopefully I can show that when I get the chance.”

There were other clubs looking to Bayliss who only broke into the Coventry side in November 2017.

He was in the Sky Blues which won the League Two play-off final against Exeter in May 2018.

Last season, Bayliss made 38 appearances in League One, scoring three goals.

North End struck a deal with Coventry on Thursday and he travelled to Preston to have his medical that night.

When the results from the medical came back yesterday morning, Bayliss put pen to paper on the move.

The four year contract is a sign of how North End rate his potential.

It is a fourth signing of the summer following that of Patrick Bauer, David Nugent and Andre Green.

The loan move for Green from Aston Villa was done on Thursday night.

PNE manager Alex Neil was pleased to get Bayliss signed in time to have him on board the train to London yesterday ahead of the Millwall clash.

Neil said: “In League Two, Tom got promoted and in League One he had a very good season and we are hoping to continue his development.

“He is one of those lads that can play in a variety of different positions in the middle.

“Tom’s got good legs, good use of the ball and we think he is going to be a real prospect for the future.

“As long as we provide enough experience for the lads throughout the spine of the team, I think our main objective will be to get younger players, develop them and bring the best out of them.

“That has been a successful model for the club and that is something we will continue.”