Ryan Lowe assesses the impact of Preston North End’s summer transfer business
Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe reflects on the summer transfer window as a job well done by the football club.
The Lilywhites made eight additions in total, with Liam Millar and Milutin Osmajic both snapped up on transfer deadline day. North End also brought in Jack Whatmough, Will Keane, Duane Holmes, Mads Frokjaer, Calvin Ramsay and Layton Stewart. Combined, the summer recruits have scored 10 goals and assisted seven already.
New faces have made a positive impact and boosted Preston’s goal threat as a team. Lowe is in his third season at the helm, having had the time to build a squad of his own. The Liverpudlian knew where he needed to strengthen and the types of players required. But saying it and doing it are two very different things, so he is certainly proud of the work done over the summer.
“Yeah, I have always said recruitment is vital and it’s not against anyone who’s been here before, but ultimately I want players who I feel can help us, given what we’re lacking,” said Lowe. “It is not rocket science to go into a football club and know what you’re lacking - whether it is pace, power, a goal scorer or a maverick. You know, don’t you? If you go into an office and it doesn’t look good then you’re going to change it, aren’t you? That is what we’ve tried to do ever since we’ve been at Preston.
“We wanted to change to my style, suit what we wanted and have those players. You only have to look at the squad once all the players are back; there are probably two XIs if I needed them - because the squad is that good and that competitive. So, in terms of recruitment, I think Andy McGregor from MRKT Insights and James Wallace deserve a big shout out - because they are the ones who bring them to us. The likes of Liam Millar, of course, we’ve known him for some time and Jack (Whatmough) and Keano and Duano.
“We knew those players. But, the fact of the matter is that the likes of Mads and Milutin - we didn’t know anything about them until the lads went and found them. They are the gems you’ve got to look for. It helped with the changes of bringing overseas players in, of course it did. You only have to look at the quality of the overseas players in the Championship now. You want that small quantity of quality and that’s what we’ve got. So yeah, I think the recruitment since we’ve come to the door has been very good.”
Lowe has a variety of options at his disposal too, which can only be good news for any coach given the tactical challenges which crop up week-in-week-out in the Championship. North End finished their last game with a box midfield of Ben Whiteman, Alan Browne, Duane Holmes and Mads Frokjaer - a quartet which underlines the variation within North End’s squad.
“They do offer something different,” said Lowe. “And Calvin, when he is back. He came to the game on Tuesday and was with us here for pre-match. It was nice to see him and he’s not going to be too far behind. He can fill in at right back or right wing-back. And having those different type of players - I think I said last season about needing a maverick, a goal scorer, someone with a bit of pace. We’ve found that, with the additions of everyone else and long may it continue. It’s really pleasing and for me, it’s been a good recruitment process. The final day, when we knew what we were getting, was important too.”