Ryan Lowe is the new man at the helm for Preston North End now and heading into his first transfer window in charge at Deepdale, he will certainly have a few big decisions to make.
The current squad at the club is overflowing with players and there is no doubt that some will need to be shipped out when possible. It also means that if the former Plymouth boss wants to bring in players that can play to his style and to his philosophy, then he also may need to sell before he can buy.
It means the winter window could certainly be a busy one for the Lilywhites, as Lowe tries to shape the squad into one that he wants.
With several player decisions to be made in January, here are two big ones that the new manager could face at PNE.
Quiz: Have Preston North End signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?
Should Preston sell or keep Ched Evans?
It is a story that Preston fans probably wouldn’t have expected to see until reports from The Sun newspaper (19/12) claimed that Wigan were chasing the current North End man and that they could perhaps secure a short-term deal for him in the winter window.
For PNE, the striker has been a key figure over the last two seasons. He was one of their main assets upfront last season and after returning to match fitness this campaign, he has again proven to be key. He’s bagged goals, done well in bringing his strike partner Emil Riis into play and his overall game has been good.
However, the player could reportedly be allowed to leave North End in the winter window, although LancsLive have since claimed that the Lilywhites do not want to do any kind of deal for Evans.
There is a decision though to be made by Ryan Lowe. Does he want to continue on with Evans or is he willing to let the player leave to sign the kind of forwards he wants instead? The former Fleetwood man is a handful for any opposition but does he fit the style of play that the manager wants at Deepdale?
That is the decision that needs to be made. Evans has certainly made his mark since his return to match fitness but it is whether Lowe values the effort that Evans has put in so far or whether he feels he could get the team ticking without the forward. If he decides that he doesn’t want Evans, then it looks like there could certainly be interest from elsewhere.
Which youth players does Lowe give a chance to – and which does he loan out?
There is a wealth of young talent currently at Deepdale that have so far struggled to get much of a chance in the Preston first-team.
Under Alex Neil and then Frankie McAvoy, the likes of Ethan Walker, Joe Rodwell-Grant, Lewis Leigh and Adam O’Reilly have all been overlooked and other players have been preferred to them.
Tyrhys Dolan and Blackburn though have shown that PNE should perhaps start to look to their academy and give some of their younger talent a chance in the Championship, rather than letting them leave and turning to signings instead. There is talent there and the players have already proven on their various loan spells that some should perhaps get a run in the first-team.
Ryan Lowe and Preston then will have to decide in the winter window which players he feels could play a part in the second half of the campaign and which would be best served going elsewhere for first-team experience.
If there’s a player or two he feels won’t get action at Deepdale, then he should also float their names around and try and get them some first-team football elsewhere so they can continue to get experience.