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Preston North End finalise impressive Championship swoop

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Preston North End have brought Connor Ripley to Deepdale on a permanent contract after agreeing a fee with Middlesbrough for the goalkeeper’s service.  

Alex Neil has been on the lookout for a player to strengthen his goalkeeping department this month, after North End sanctioned the loan of Chris Maxwell to Charlton Athletic earlier in the window.

Tonight, the club have announced on their official website that Ripley has signed a three-and-a-half year deal at Deepdale, leaving Middlesbrough permanently to link up with Preston.

Ripley, 25, has made only three senior appearances for Boro, but has built up experience across seven loan spells.

Oxford, Bradford City, Motherwell, Oldham Athletic, Burton, Bury and, most recently, Accrington Stanley have benefitted from the goalkeeper’s class.

His spell at Accrington this season has seen Ripley make 21 League One appearances, helping John Coleman’s side enjoy an impressive return to the third-tier of English football.

Preston’s swoop means that Ripley will finish the season in the Championship, with North End rewarding their recruit with the No.25 shirt.

Neil will have Ripley available for selection this weekend against Swansea City.

The Verdict

Ripley’s loan spells away from Middlesbrough have been very impressive and it was a surprise that he wasn’t given more chance at the Riverside.

What feels like Boro’s loss is very much Preston’s gain, with Neil getting his hands on a goalkeeper heading into his peak years and with some good experiences behind him.

This looks a great signing.

Thoughts? Let us know!

ScoopDragon Football News Network

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