Preston are a new-look side under Ryan Lowe and the manager will surely want to implement some of his own philosophies and sign some of his own players at Deepdale in the winter window.
Of course, the side already have some solid players in their midst but the former Plymouth boss will no doubt have his eye on shaping the squad to his liking when he can.
One name that has already been linked with a potential winter window exit is Ched Evans. The former Fleetwood striker has played in five games so far this season and managed two goals, looking bright for PNE since his return from injury.
Last season, the forward managed even more games and more goals – and was arguably the club’s most important striker.
However, Wigan Athletic were keen to try and seal a deal for the player when the window opens as reported by The Sun (19/12) and looked like they could try and land a short-term deal for the forward. LancsLive have since claimed that they don’t want to let Evans leave Deepdale – but that doesn’t mean Wigan won’t try.
Just because the club have made it clear they want to keep the attacker doesn’t mean he may not be let go – and if he is, then here are three forward replacements that PNE could sign if Evans does go out the exit door.
Quiz: What club did Preston North End sign each of these 29 players from?
Keinan Davis – Aston Villa
Davis is a player that PNE have been linked with in the past, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him suggested as a target to new boss Ryan Lowe again if Evans leaves.
Davis would likely only join on a short-term deal – the Lilywhites certainly couldn’t afford a seven-figure fee for the Aston Villa man – but if Evans only leaves on a loan, then a similar deal for Davis would be okay.
The 23-year-old player can’t land a game in the Premier League with his current side but has played 86 games in total for his team so far and managed six goals. He is a solid targetman too and could complement Emil Riis nicely in playing a similar role to the one that Evans does now.
There are a few teams chasing the player in the winter window so a deal may not be easy but their previous interest means that he could certainly be an option.
Jordan White – Ross County
The cheap option for Preston here – considering their modest transfer budget – could be to once again look to Scotland and sign one of the forwards from the SPL.
The striker could be available on the cheap – a fee likely wouldn’t be too high – so he is affordable and he is also out of contract in the summer and that means his current side could be more liable to cash in now while they can.
His record at Ross County has been fairly solid too. With five goal contributions in 14 starts this season, he has a better record than some in the Championship and last season he was even more impressive with nine goal contributions in just 12 games.
The only likely issues could be his age – at 29, he like Evans, doesn’t have a lot of potential resale value – and the fact he is untested in the second tier of English football. For the price that you could pay though, it may be worth a gamble on him.
Luke Jephcott – Plymouth
You’d have to think that Ryan Lowe has one eye on his old side for some potential new signings to bring with him to Deepdale – and one player could be Luke Jephcott.
He won’t want to bring every former player of his to Preston but one youngster that he managed to turn into a decent goalscorer was Jephcott. The boss certainly knows how to get the best out of the forward and he was a regular goalscorer for the side – and if he knows what it takes to get the player scoring, he could bring him to Deepdale and get him to do it again.
He might not be as cheap as White because of his age and ability in League One but a decent bid could tempt Argyle into doing business.
Jephcott is also not tested at Championship level but he is arguably less of a gamble considering Ryan Lowe knows how the striker likes to play and what it takes to get him bagging the goals.