Frankie McAvoy has been a busy man in the transfer market so far this summer, strengthening his defence and making some very shrewd signings.
Liam Lindsay and Sepp van den Berg are familiar but welcome additions at the back, with the latter set to be converted back to a central defender after spending much of his previous Preston loan spell on the right.
The man who’s likely to take his old spot is Matthew Olosunde, whose move to Deepdale was announced last night. After being relegated with Rotherham in May, the 23-year-old will have a point to prove in Lancashire next season – and this signing has further bolstered a vibrant and exciting backline.
With attacking player Izzy Brown also coming in as a man who can play on the wing or in an advanced midfield role – and the expected loan return of goalkeeper Daniel Iversen from Leicester City after Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Ward come back from the Euros – there’s one more position the Lilywhites need to take a look at ahead of next season.
Although the fact Preston didn’t have one key goalscorer last season and still finished 13th could be seen as a positive, they don’t currently have that main man they can turn to when they need a way out.
Winger Scott Sinclair is probably the closest person they have to that – but they need a central man to step up and bang the goals in next season if they want to progress and reach the playoffs.
After winning maximum points from their last four games in the 2020/21 campaign – there’s no reason why they can’t aim that high next year. They already have different contributors across the pitch, now is the time to add that main man to give them the attacking firepower needed to propel them to greater things.
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McAvoy may be willing to give Ched Evans a full season to impress after scoring five goals in 21 second-tier appearances since arriving in January – but Emil Riis Jakobsen’s record will be of huge concern after a poor first season in England.
The Danish striker signed from Randers last summer for a £1.2m fee but only scored two goals in 38 Championship matches last year, which could tempt Preston to sign another forward just nine months on from his move.
Their permanent signing of Liam Lindsay shows they aren’t currently under any form of transfer embargo like many other sides in the English second division, so they could potentially splash the cash on a top-quality forward.
This isn’t their style though – and may look towards players like the prolific Joe Pigott and Paul Mullin as potential targets on free transfers – although Charlton are currently leading the race for the latter according to Football Insider.
But regardless of their other targets and positions they want to strengthen, the forward department needs to be at the top of the agenda if they want to push on next year.
Jayden Stockley would have been a great squad member to have in terms of goalscoring prowess but he was unable to replicate the form he showed during his Exeter City days – and moved on permanently this summer.
If they can get someone like the Exeter-version of Stockley, that would suit them nicely as they approach the 2021/22 Championship season.