Preston manager Alex Neil has revealed that he felt selling Callum Robinson to Sheffield United allowed the Championship side to get the best possible deal for the striker.
Robinson was set to enter the final 12 months of his contract at Deepdale, meaning this would have been the clubs final chance to receive a fee for the Republic of Ireland international, which appears to have come into Neil’s thinking when making the decision to allow the attacker to leave.
Speaking to the club’s official website about Robinson’s departure, Neil said: “We are in a situation where we have been given a good offer, Callum has seen his future in the Premier League if that opportunity came along, which it did, and we had to try and maximise the cash intake for us, so we can try and strengthen the squad and strengthen the club.”
Despite the encouragement Neil appears to have taken from the fee received for Robinson, the Scot did not hide his disappointment about losing the 24-year-old, as he added: “I am gutted Callum has left. He was a great lad about the place, but he has deserved his chance and he has worked very hard for a couple of seasons.
“He has improved no end; he has been a double-figure goalscorer for us for the last few seasons and we should remember him fondly and wish him all the best.”
Having initially spent three spells on loan with the club from Aston Villa, Robinson made his move to Deepdale permanent in the summer of 2016, making a total of 160 appearances and scoring 40 goals in all competitions for the Lancashire side.
I can fully understand the approach that Neil has taken here.
With Robinson entering the final year of his contract at Deepdale, it does seem to make more sense to sell him now and at least receive for a fee for a highly talented player, rather than lose him for nothing in 12 months time.
That Preston do now at least have funds available to directly replace Robinson, rather than having to work with what they already have to bring in an alternative, while also having to strengthen in other areas of the squad, suggests that this is a smart move from the club.
As disappointed as many Preston fans will be at losing Robinson, if the received for him is spent on players capable of taking them even closer to a play-off place than before, you feel this will be a decision that has been justified.