Despite reports suggesting that they were interested in a transfer deal, Preston North End will not be pursuing Cambridge United striker Paul Mullin this summer, according to the Lancashire Post.
The 33-goal forward was linked to both North End and Middlesbrough by Football Insider as his contract is set to expire at the Abbey Stadium this summer, but the update on the Preston end is that the 26-year-old was offered to the club rather than the club pursuing Mullin.
There’s no doubting that PNE and Frankie McAvoy do need to assess their attacking options though, with their top scoring out-and-out striker last season being Ched Evans, who scored five times in 21 games.
Sean Maguire found the back of the net just three times and Emil Riis twice – winger Scott Sinclair was the top scorer but it remains to be seen whether McAvoy will utilise wide players next season.
With a striker surely on the agenda, let’s look at three players who North End should look at making a move for this summer.
Nisbet was a bargain buy for Hibernian last summer for around £250,000 from Dunfermline in the Scottish Championship, having scored 18 goals in 25 matches the previous season, and his return to Scotland’s top flight has seen him go from strength to strength.
The 24-year-old ended the campaign with 14 goals for Hibs in 33 appearances and he’s also made his Scotland bow, scoring his first goal for his country against the Netherlands recently.
Birmingham had bids turned down mid-season in the region of £2.5 million, but Hibs chairman Ron Gordon has hinted that the club would be willing to do business this summer because of the financial climate.
A £2.5 million bid this month could perhaps get Nisbet, but would North End owner Trevor Hemmings throw that much at a player? The club’s transfer record remains David Healy at £1.8 million in 2000 so it’s unlikely, but Nisbet would be an ideal capture.
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Carlos Mendes Gomes
Whilst he’s not an out-and-out striker, Mendes Gomes was prolific in League Two for Morecambe this season and he was the catalyst for the Shrimps’ promotion to League One for the first time ever.
The 22-year-old is predominantly a winger but judging bu some of the goals he scored this past season and the attributes he has shown, Mendes Gomes could be converted into a full-time striker.
And unlike Mullin, who will probably not improve at the age of 26, Mendes Gomes is still at an age where he is raw, can be developed and he has academy pedigree at Atletico Madrid.
He’s now had his breakout year and he’s based in the north west, so North End would be silly not to pursue a move.
PNE have a history of bringing in young Premier League strikers on loan who go onto better things – Andy Carroll, Danny Welbeck, Joshua King, Stephy Mavididi and Lukas Nmecha all come to mind since 2007.
None of those really shone at Deepdale and they all had really raw attributes, but they progressed after their time at Deepdale to become good players.
One player who looks ready-made for a Championship loan is Liam Delap, who scored 24 goals in 20 Premier League 2 outings this past season and also netted his first senior Manchester City goal in the EFL Cup against AFC Bournemouth.
Delap looks like he has all the technical and physical attributes to be a real handful in the EFL, and North End could be an ideal destination for him for 2021-22 in terms of location-wise and game-time – he would be guaranteed minutes due to the lack of real options up-front as well.