Preston North End had one real problem last season on their way to finishing 13th in the Championship – having a regular supply of goals.
North End scored just 49 times in the league last season and not one player was able to break into double figures, with Scott Sinclair top scoring on nine goals.
It’s a far cry from previous seasons that have seen even central midfielders score at least 10 Championship goals, with Daniel Johnson and Alan Browne both bagging 12 times in 2019-20 and 2017-18 respectively.
North End’s strikers last season though did not find the net with any regularity – Jayden Stockley scored once in 16 outings before being loaned out, Emil Riis scored just twice in 38 appearances but Ched Evans did the best of them all despite only arriving in January, scoring five times in 21 games.
Then we have the most long-serving of them all in Sean Maguire, who has really been struggling in-front of goal for a while now.
When the little Irishman arrived at Deepdale in the summer of 2017, there was much excitement due to the form he had found in the Republic of Ireland with Cork City.
Maguire had scored 26 goals in 30 outings before he was snapped up by North End, and he confirmed his promise quickly to Lilywhites fans with his rapid bursts of pace and his goalscoring abilities which had transferred from across the Irish Sea.
That didn’t last though – the striker suffered a hamstring injury in his debut season which kept him out for months, and although he recovered to finish the campaign with 10 goals in 24 Championship outings, another serious tear of the hamstring occurred in pre-season before the 2018-19 season began.
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That particular injury could have been the worst thing to ever happen to Maguire and it resulted in a loss of form in-front of goal – when he recovered from the setback he scored just three times in 26 matches that season, and in 2019-20 it was five goals in 44 outings.
The Irishman suffered a similar struggle last season with just three goals scored in 25 games, and that was after he was handed a contract extension in the summer until 2023.
And that extension means that Maguire has two years remaining on his deal – but is it worth keeping him around?
His best asset was his blistering pace to get behind a defence and he lost that years ago due to the recurring hamstring injuries – and that is why the goals aren’t coming.
If Frankie McAvoy needs more funds to try and get in a striker that can potentially push North End into the play-offs, then Maguire could potentially be put up for transfer.
McAvoy has said all the forwards will be given a chance even though a new front-man may be on the radar, but how many more chances will Maguire get?
His record stands at 11 goals in 95 games which isn’t good enough for a striker in a team that wants to be in and around the play-offs next season and if I was the North End transfer team it would come under serious consideration to perhaps seek out a new club for Maguire and a fresh start for the player.