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 North End are reportedly interested in a deal to sign Luton Town forward James Collins according to The Telegraph.
Collins has made 35 appearances in all competitions this season for the Hatters, and has scored ten goals in total this term for Nathan Jones’ side.
Luton are currently sat 13th in the Championship table thanks to Collins’ contribution in front of goal, and it appears as though his strong performances haven’t gone unnoticed heading into the summer transfer window.
Preston are seemingly keen to bolster their attacking options in the future, with North End currently sat 16th in the second-tier standings after a poor run of recent results.
They’re said to be rivalling Derby County to the potential signing of Collins, with the Rams also keen on reaching an agreement with the Irish international.
But would Collins be a good signing for Preston in the summer, and is he needed?
I like the look of this signing for Preston.
I’m far from convinced by their striking options at the moment and with the 30-year-old coming to the end of his Luton deal, he could be a cut-price option.
Collins has shown he’s capable of scoring hatfuls of goals and I’d be interested to see how he fares away from Kenilworth Road.
The Irishman is a hard-worker as well and that should make him popular among the Preston fan base.
For me, there are better options out there but in a cheap deal this could be a smart move.
Whilst he’s been PNE’s scurge this season with four goals this season against them (the final one went down as a Daniel Iversen own goal but it was all Collins’ work), I’m not exactly sure that Collins is needed at Deepdale.
North End’s transfer plans for the summer are very much up in the air but up-front they have Emil Riis, who after a lightning start to his career at the club has became second fiddle to Ched Evans, who is only on a deal until the end of the season.
That contract may get extended for another year, whilst Sean Maguire isn’t the striker he was when he first arrived in 2017, so it’s clear to see that North End do need to address their attacking options in the off-season.
Whilst Collins hit 14 goals last season and is on seven in 2020/21, PNE really require a pacey striker who can make things happen.
That type would be top of my shortlist but I’d also take Collins on a free transfer – but only if the club aren’t going to keep Evans around for another season.
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Preston do not really have many players in their squad with the ability to convert chances created in the final third and that has been an issue for them in the last few campaigns. Collins has shown that he can score goals in the Championship and whilst he is not prolific he could still chip in with some important goals for the Lilywhites.
Collins is someone who Preston could bring in cheaply given he is set to be out of contract, which would be potentially vital considering a new manager will be required to make other adjustments to the squad in the summer. However, signing players when you have not got a permanent head coach or manager in place is always a risk.
The forward is certainly more than good enough for the Championship and he would be worth a look at for Preston as someone who could chip in with around ten to 15 goals a season. The Lilywhites might need to bring in someone with the ability to breach that 20-goal mark for them to challenge for promotion though.
It might not be a signing that excites fans, but it would be a solid addition that makes a lot of sense considering where Preston are at the moment.