Striker was on PNE’s radar

Tom Bradshaw joined Barnsley from Walsall in the summer for �600,000
Tom Bradshaw joined Barnsley from Walsall in the summer for �600,000
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Tom Bradshaw’s name will be of interest to Preston fans should the Barnsley striker feature on the team-sheet at Deepdale this weekend.

The 24-year-old was on PNE’s radar for a time – they were linked with him both in January and this summer.

Bradshaw was a Walsall player at the time – it was in July that he swapped the West Midlands for South Yorkshire in a £600,000 switch.

North End manager Simon Grayson admits his interest got as far as an enquiry for the Welshman but there was no bid from Deepdale.

Grayson said: “There was talk about him but we didn’t put a bid in.

“When someone scores a lot of goals, you keep an eye on them and express an interest.

“We decided the money we got quoted for him wasn’t for us and we went down a different avenue.

“Barnsley decided to take him and hopefully we can keep him quiet if he plays.”

Bradshaw scored his first Tykes goal in their 4-0 derby victory over Rotherham on August 27.

He came off the bench to find the net, Sam Winnall and Marly Watkins having got the nod to start up front.

Winnall is another player to have crossed North End’s path, although longer ago.

He played on trial for PNE in a couple of pre-season friendlies in 2012, in a bid to earn a move from Wolves.

It was only a year later when Winnall left Wolves to join Scunthorpe did his career properly get going.

Winnall scored 24 goals last season as Barnsley won promotion from League One and lifted the JPT.

A hamstring injury delayed his start to this season, but he has started the last two 

Barnsley have settled in nicely to the Championship, with nine points from their first five games putting them in third place.

They have beaten Derby, QPR and Rotherham, losing to Ipswich and Huddersfield.

Grayson ran the rule over them against QPR and has been impressed with their progress in recent months.

“Barnsley have done ever so well – they are top-three in the division,” said Grayson.

“They have recruited well with the money they got for Alfie Mawson.

“When you look at the squad, they’ve got talented wingers in Ryan Kent and Adam Hammill.

“In midfield they have Conor Hourihane, who is a good player.

“They are a hard-working side who defend as a team and break forward quickly as a team.

“They show that hard work can take you a long way, it is all about a team ethic.

“Paul Heckingbottom has done very well since taking over last season.

“He had a fantastic start, winning the JPT and getting promotion in the play-offs.

“Paul has learned his trade and has a very good assistant alongside him in Tommy Wright.”

Barnsley were busy in the transfer market during the summer, increasingly so as the deadline approached.

They sold Mawson for £5m to Swansea on August 28, and brought in five players after that – four of them on loan.

One of the loan signings was striker Adam Armstrong from Newcastle – he scored 20 goals for Coventry when on loan there last season.

Another cash windfall for Barnsley came in the shape of a sell-on clause when their former defender John Stones was sold by Everton for £47.5m to Manchester City.