This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Preston are edging closer to the signing of former player Jordan Hugill from West Ham, report Football Insider.
However, they face competition from Wigan for his signature, with The Latics having agreed a fee with The Hammers and ready to negotiate personal terms with the forward.
Having enjoyed a three-and-a-half-year spell with the Lilywhites prior to joining West Ham, Hugill could be tempted back to Deepdale. He worked well with Alex Neil previously and was the focal point of a Preston team which was edging towards the play-offs at the time of his exit.
It’s also the club where he made a name for himself as a dominant striker who also chipped in with a decent amount of goals, having scored 23 and assisted four across three years with the club in the second-tier.
His fortunes since leaving have been less enjoyable, appearing only three times for West Ham before spending a year on loan with Middlesbrough where he appeared more often on the bench than in the starting line-up.
Hugill will have to prove himself once again after a disappointing spell, so will he be a good signing for the Lilywhites? Here’s what our writers think.
“Yes, I think this is a move that could work perfectly for both parties.
“He’s not really been given a chance in the first team at West Ham and has played just 22 senior minutes at the club.
“Preston is where he played his best football and it could be the ideal place for him to return to in an attempt to try and reignite his career.
“He’ll be hungry to prove that can get back to form and at 27 he is a sound investment as he should have a lot left in the tank.
“Preston need to add attacking reinforcements after the exit of Callum Robinson and Hugill can help address that need.”
“This would be a fantastic signing for Preston in my opinion.
“Hugill knows the club well after his spell with the Lilywhites earlier in his career, and he’ll be keen to prove his worth at the earliest of opportunities.
“He’s not made enough of an impact with West Ham, and only made three appearances for the Hammers in the Premier League, which doesn’t make for good reading.
“But he’s already shown that he can score goals in the Championship, having scored eight goals in his last spell in the second tier of English football.
“So it’s a potential deal that makes sense for both parties, and the Preston supporters will be hoping that their former striker can recapture his best form if he was to arrive at Deepdale again.”
“I don’t think it is.
“Preston arguably do need to add some more bodies to their squad up front, but to me, Hugill doesn’t feel like the right one to be targeting.
“The striker’s time at West Ham has been dismal, and his record on loan at this level with Middlesbrough last season wasn’t all that inspiring either, which suggests that he may have a similar issue on his return to Deepdale.
“Having made the step up to the Premier League, you imagine he won’t be cheap in terms of wages as well as transfer fee, and that too runs the risk of impacting on some of the other business Preston may have been planning on doing between now and the end of the window.
“Therefore, while the prospect of an emotional return to Preston may be an appealing one, right now it doesn’t seem to me like it would be the right one.”