Preston North End could well be a Premier League club next season, but Alex Neil will want to strengthen his squad in the summer, no matter what division the Lilywhites are competing in.
Preston find themselves sat in sixth place in the Sky Bet Championship which means they occupy the final spot in the play-off places with the likes of Bristol City, Millwall and Cardiff City all on their tail. With nine games left of the campaign, Neil has given his side a great chance to be participating in the end of season lottery.
Should North End not manage to win a place in the play-offs or get knocked out by one of the other sides in them, they will be looking to strengthen as they will fancy their chances next season. The Lilywhites have several issues to address in the summer transfer window if they are to compete at the top end of the Championship or even in the Premier League next season.
Here are TWO players they have previously been linked with, but could easily revisit in the summer window this year…
A return to Deepdale could well be on the cards for Jordan Hugill in the summer of 2020 with the former North End man struggling to force his way into the first team picture at parent club West Ham United. The target man was linked with a move back to Preston last summer, according to The Sun (20 June, page 49), but opted to join London side QPR. Hugill famously left North End for the Hammers in January of 2018 in a deal worth up to £10 million but has been shipped out on loan in recent years back into the Championship. He enjoyed a productive spell with his hometown club Middlesbrough last season, notching six goals in 20 starts.
Hugill has massively impressed with QPR this season and formed a great partnership with Nakhi Wells in the first half of the season before the latter was sold to Bristol City in January. The former North End man has 11 goals so far this season which is more than any recognised striker at Preston. Everyone else seems to be able to find the net for North End except for their strikers but Hugill would change that next season if he was to return to Lancashire.
QUIZ: Are these 15 Preston North End statements true or false?
North End could well and truly be left with egg on their face this summer with the contract of first team goalkeeper Declan Rudd set to expire at the end of June. Should he of those decide to not sign fresh terms with North End, a move for Cameron Dawson would make sense for Neil. The Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper was linked with a move to the Lilywhites just before the window opened in January.
Dawson was playing second fiddle to Kieren Westwood during the first half of the season but has had a run of games since the turn of the year to show his quality between the sticks. Dawson would make a fine replacement for Rudd next season if North End are in the Championship. As speculation hangs over the head of Sheffield Wednesday, with a potential points deduction set to hit them at the end of the season, North End could take advantage and offer guaranteed Championship football at the very least, something that the Owls might not be able to offer at the current season’s conclusion.