Preston North End likely to stay with the domestic transfer market this summer

Preston North End’s summer shopping is currently focused on the domestic market rather than looking abroad.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 17th June 2021, 8:00 am

The need for all players coming from overseas to meet work permit criteria since Brexit has limited the availability.

So for the time being PNE’s signings will be from these shores, although they have not ruled out looking further afield if the need arises.

Until last autumn, the Lilywhites had shopped in the British and Irish markets for the best part of a decade.

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Emil Riis was a rare signing from the continent for Preston North End

There was a change of course in October when they brought in Emil Riis.

The striker was signed from Danish side Randers FC for a £1.25m fee.

There have been foreign players in the squad but they have been signed from English clubs.

German defender Patrick Bauer was with Charlton for three years before moving to Deepdale.

Sepp van den Berg and Daniel Iversen came on loan last season from Liverpool and Leicester respectively.

Those two look set to come back for the season ahead on fresh loan deals.

Pre-Brexit, players could come from EU countries without a work permit.

Now they need to get a GBE (Governing Body Endorsement) like players from non-EU countries had always required.

GBEs operate on a points system, with points awarded for senior and youth international appearances, the quality of the selling club based on which league they are in, league position and progression in continental competitions.

Club appearances by a player are also taken into consideration.

So while securing full international players from bigger clubs will not be an issue, unearthing bargains from clubs lower down is now more difficult.

On the playing front, Riis will be hoping to recapture the form he showed early in his North End stay when the new season kicks off.

Riis really caught the eye in the first few weeks after his arrival from Danish football.

The 22-year-old lost his way somewhat, in line with many of his team-mates as PNE struggled after the turn of the year.

Frankie McAvoy taking over from Alex Neil and his use of a 3-5-2 was to benefit Riis in terms of game time.

He started McAvoy’s first four matches in charge, paired with Ched Evans.

Tom Barkhuizen, Sean Maguire and Scott Sinclair were used as Evans’ strike partner after Riis had been looked at.

PNE are in the market for another striker this summer as McAvoy looks for more goals and competition.