Preston North End striker Connor Wickham will work to earn a longer stay at Deepdale

Connor Wickham will use the next four months to try and earn a longer contract with Preston North End.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 12:39 pm

The 28-year-old striker put pen to paper on a short-term deal on Monday, one which ties him to Deepdale until January 13.

It is a deal which is very much a ‘prove yourself’ type, with it being one which suits both North End and player.

Wickham now has some short term security while having the chance to impress further.

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Preston North End's new striker Connor Wickham in action for his former club Crystal Palace

PNE get an experienced player well within the wage structure and can see how he trains and plays until the new year.

Wickham, who has moved for fees of £9m and £8m in his career, starting training with Frankie McAvoy’s squad last month.

He was a free agent having been released by Crystal Palace in June.

Not having a club allowed him to sign the deal at PNE even though the transfer deadline had long passed.

Wickham has impressed in training and been a good type of character around the dressing room.

The area of his game which North End want to improve is his match fitness.

He’s 6ft 3 and a powerful build, so will take time to find his sharpness.

Last week’s run-out in the reserves was his first match in quite a while.

Although Wickham missed a penalty in that game, he played well in the first half before fading after half-time.

With Wickham’s arrival, PNE have conducted nine pieces of incoming business since the end of last season.

He’s been registered in the squad with the EFL, North End now having just one more space to fill – they are allowed 25 senior pros.

The club won’t rush to take it up to 25 immediately, instead looking to see how the next few weeks develop.

Joe Rafferty, Josh Harrop, Paul Huntington, Jamie Thomas and Connor Ripley haven’t been registered, neither has Izzy Brown who is recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon.

If there is an injury to a defender in the coming weeks, Rafferty or Huntington would be registered.

Likewise an injury further up the pitch would see Harrop or Thomas get the nod.

Clubs can take the squad up to 25 at any point between now and January.

Registering players for the EFL only applies to league games, with those left out able to play in the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup.

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