Sean Gregan’s exclusive column: David Nugent could be a clever piece of business by Preston
Preston North End bringing back David Nugent to Deepdale could be a shrewd piece of summer transfer business.
He was a big favourite of the fans in his first spell at North End and while that was a few years ago now, the excitement was still there when he came back a couple of weeks ago.
Nugent will have lost that yard of pace now but I saw him play a few times at Derby last season and he worked his socks off.
A few times last season I mentioned that the North End squad was quite a young one and bit more experience wouldn’t go amiss.
I’m not just talking about on the pitch on a Saturday, but also Monday to Friday at the training ground.
The younger lads can see how he trains, how he looks after himself.
He in turn can help the other experienced lads like Paul Gallagher, Tom Clarke and Paul Huntington police the dressing room.
You need big figures like that who have a voice and can keep everyone together if you get on a bad run.
It wasn’t too many years after I left PNE that Nugent first came to Deepdale , so that shows how long ago it was!
I’m sure he had plenty left in the tank yet and will be keen to make his mark as the season gets up-and-running.
Nugent might not be the first choice striker, however he wouldn’t be a bad option to bring on in search of a goal.
I will certainly be really interested to see how he gets on in the coming months.
While Nugent has come in, the big name to move out has been Callum Robinson.
A player of Robinson’s ability will always be missed, that is why it was sad to see him go and why he went for a decent sized fee.
We have said this many times over the years that once a Premier League club comes sniffing around with the wages they can offer, it will always be difficult not for players to get their heads turned.
As long as Preston stay outside the Premier League, that will always be the case.
With the new season about to start, we all do our predictions about where teams will finish and who might go up and down.
North End need a better start this season than they had last year.
They did win their first game last season but then it took them a good while to get another victory on the board in the Championship.
If they had just won two of the games they lost or drew earlier in the season, adding that to the form they showed later in the season, Preston wouldn’t have been far off the play-offs.
It’s a clean slate now, all teams start equal and just now everyone will be filled with optimism.
When the Premier League starts next week, we will have VAR at those.
It’s hard to know where to stand on VAR – I like the fact clear fouls and such like can be spotted but if someone’s kneecap is offside, should we really be ruling goals out?
Goalline technology has worked superbly but I’m just not convinced by VAR.