Preston have a squad that, as things stand, is overloaded with players – with many names not even being registered to the squad list right now.
Ryan Lowe then will have a job on this hands to clear out some of the deadwood in the side before he can even think about bringing in some fresh faces to Deepdale. There are at least five or six players that are unlikely to feature for the club in the second half of the campaign and beyond – and if they can be sold on this month, then the new boss could let it happen.
The players themselves will no doubt be eager to get back on the pitch having become frozen out at PNE. If the chance presents itself this window, then they would surely jump at the chance to get regular gametime.
Here then, are two players who could be out the exit door at the Championship club this month.
Quiz: Can you name which club Preston North End signed these 20 strikers from?
1. Connor Wickham
You’d have to think that given the change in manager and the current amount of strikers at the club – not even mentioning the fact that PNE will probably want even more forwards – that Wickham may be out the door sooner rather than later.
North End might fancy adding to their forward ranks this month and you would think that some will therefore have to make way for others to join. With Wickham having failed to make much impact – largely down to an injury he sustained early on – it looks like there may not be a future for him at the club.
The former Crystal Palace striker deserves a chance to try and continue his career elsewhere with more gametime if he can. It could have worked at Preston if not for the injury and there is every chance that Lowe might decide to take a gamble and keep him on at Deepdale to see how he fares when he is back match fit.
The more likely scenario though would see the attacker allowed to leave so that the former Plymouth manager can bring in a forward of his own – and Wickham would likely get on the field a lot more, if he can stay healthy, at another team.
2. Jamie Thomas
Another forward that could be allowed to leave this month is Jamie Thomas.
Whilst PNE might decide to keep him on to play in the club’s academy games or loan him out rather than sell him on, it’s doubtful that Preston fans will see him in Lilywhite colours anytime soon. He isn’t registered in the squad and hasn’t played a minute in the league yet either.
Again, with Ryan Lowe potentially eyeing some forward recruits of his own, it means that he may have to make way so that there is space to do so. Thomas isn’t experienced at EFL level and there hasn’t been much seen of what he is capable of to boot – and when Lowe can sign a striker who has already plied his trade in the Football League, he would likely prefer that option over Thomas.
That isn’t to say Thomas couldn’t do a job elsewhere and it would be a real shame to see the PNE dream come to an end for the attacker without much action at Deepdale but if he can secure more first-team football elsewhere, then it is something he and the club may have to seriously consider this window.