Preston North End got their pre-season campaign underway this past weekend in preparation for the 2021-22 Championship season, but it wasn’t under the circumstances they expected.
A waterlogged pitch at Irongate meant that PNE fans couldn’t see their team in action for the first time in well over a year against non-league side Bamber Bridge, but the game was moved behind closed doors and North End ran out as 8-3 winners.
Whilst Sepp van den Berg and Liam Lindsay played in the victory – both having returned to Deepdale after their successful loan spells last season – there was no debut for Izzy Brown or Matthew Olosunde following their acquisitions.
There’s still work to be done for North End and Frankie McAvoy in the transfer market though – let’s round-up the latest transfer news from Deepdale as the club look to conclude at least one deal in the near future.
Update emerges on goalkeeper deal
Declan Rudd is now fit again after suffering a season-ending knee injury back in January – he returned inbetween the sticks against Bamber Bridge this past weekend.
Despite that though, McAvoy wants another goalkeeper and more specifically Leicester City’s Daniel Iversen, who played 23 times for the Lilywhites last season when Rudd was sidelined.
The Dane impressed massively in his time at Deepdale and according to the Lancashire Post, North End hope to announce the return of the 23-year-old on a season-long loan deal soon.
It will be a major boost to North End to get Iversen back and it will be good to have two good goalkeepers fight it out for the number one jersey this season.
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North End targeting strengthening of position
Out of North End’s four signings this summer, three of those have come in the defensive area, and with McAvoy expecting to start the campaign with a 3-5-2 formation it was something that needed addressing.
Now attentions can turn towards the striking department, with PNE struggling for goals in that area in the 2020-21 campaign.
Tom Barkhuizen and Scott Sinclair – natural wingers – are expected to get a chance up-front due to McAvoy not using wingers in his system, but according to the Lancashire Post it’s still an area of the pitch that the club are looking to strengthen.
PNE have the quantity but probably not the quality going forward to break into the play-off places next season so it is important that some money is invested in that end of the pitch in the next few weeks.
Boost in Slater pursuit
Not long after the 2020-21 campaign ended, North End were linked by LancsLive with a move for young Sheffield United midfielder Regan Slater.
The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at League One champions Hull City and it was expected that they’d be in the driving seat for his signature this summer.
However they have now been placed under a transfer embargo, which will strengthen North End’s chances of landing Slater should they still be in the running.
With the retirement of Paul Gallagher, there is a slot to be filled in McAvoy’s squad in the midfield area and Hull’s punishment could mean that PNE firm up their interest with a bid.