Preston North End looking at all the options to improve goal haul from strikers

Preston North End are looking at both the permanent and loan markets when it comes to trying to boost the forward line in the transfer window.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 8:00 am

Increasing the number of goals from strikers is a priority in terms of recruitment this summer, a shortfall up front last season seeing them drop out of play-off contention.

Finding ready-made strikers who can guarantee goals in the Championship will always take some doing on North End’s budget.

So they will continue to look in the market for players they can develop, something they did to good effect with Jordan Hugill and Callum Robinson.

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Preston striker Sean Maguire scored five goals in the Championship last season

The loan market offers the alternative of young players from the Premier League who need first-team football to push them on.

If they do well, the loan club gets a hatful of goals from them but know the player will need replacing when they go back to their parent club.

Ideally what PNE want from the loan market would be a player who has already been out on loan or who has had a taste of first-team football with his club – even if that was a brief one.

Getting a completely raw loanee and expecting them to fire straight away can be asking a lot.

In last week’s statement to fans on several matters including recruitment and finance, Peter Ridsdale said spending would remain on similar lines.

Ridsdale, advisor to PNE owner Trevor Hemmings, said: “We will also continue with our policy of trying to strengthen the squad as and when the right players become available.

“One thing that we will not apologise for is our wage strategy and recruitment policy which will remain in line with the need to continue to ensure the long-term health of the football club.”

Last season, the bulk of North End’s goals came from midfield and the wings.

Sean Maguire topped the goals count from strikers with just five.

Jayden Stockley got four goals and David Nugent only the one.

Louis Moult scored early in the season before an anterior cruciate ligament injury brought an early finish to his campaign.

So the need to score far more from that central area is clear to see.

Once the transfer window closes in October, for the first time EFL clubs will have to register an official squad.

In the Championship that will be capped at 25 players, however an unlimited number of Under-21s can be registered – similar to how it is the Premier League.

In League One, clubs can have a 22-man squad, while it is 20 in League Two – again with no limit on Under-21s.