Preston North End’s opponents West Ham have had a busy summer

Jordan Hugill has found opportunities limited since joining the Hammers from Preston
Jordan Hugill has found opportunities limited since joining the Hammers from Preston

West Ham United will come to Deepdale to face Preston this weekend with the tag of being the busiest Premier League club in this summer’s transfer market so far.

It has been all change for the Hammers since the end of last season, both on the pitch – and in the technical area.

Leading them against PNE will be Manuel Pellegrini, the former Manchester City and Real Madrid manager having replaced David Moyes in May.

The planning of this game started when Moyes – boss at Preston between 1998 and 2002 – was still in charge of the London side.

Since Pellegrini’s arrival, the purse strings have been loosened by the Hammers.

To date they have signed seven players, breaking their transfer record in the process.

A record £40m was paid to Lazio to secure midfielder Felipe Anderson this week.

The Brazilian had been in Rome since 2013.

Defender Issa Diop came from Toulouse for £22m and £17.5 was splashed on Ukraine striker Andriy Yarmolenko from Borussia Dortmund.

Keeper Luckasz Fabianski came from Swansea for £7m and a £3.5m went on Fabian Balbuena – the Paraguayan was signed from Corinthians in Brazil.

Jack Wilshere came on a Bosman after deciding against staying at Arsenal, while Ryan Fredericks moved across the capital – swapping Fulham for the East End.

In among all the new boys at Deepdale – if indeed they all travel – will be a familiar face to PNE fans in the shape of Jordan Hugill.

The £9.5m fee which the Hammers paid North End for the striker in January looks small change when it is compared to some of the money spent recently.

From a football point of view, it has not turned out yet to be the best move for Hugill.

He has so far pulled on the West Ham shirt three times in competitive action, all as a substitute, totalling just 22 minutes of action.

There has been talk over the summer of a possible loan move for Hugill, with Leeds and QPR linked. Whether he would like to drop back to the second tier so soon after leaving it remains to be seen.

The competition up front has got stronger, although an injury to Andy Carroll leaves a gap for Hugill.