It’s not often you get breaking news late on a Sunday night, but Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand decided to spring a surprise by calling up Preston star Emil Riis.
With the international break upon us, there has been little coming out of Preston this weekend.
A few players are away with their countries; Alan Browne and Ali McCann are with Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively whilst Sepp van den Berg is away with the Dutch Under-21’s.
In a shock turn of events, Emil Riis has now joined the contingent of players away on international duty.
With Denmark set to face Scotland in a World Cup qualifier tonight, Riis has been added to the Danish squad as an extra man.
Riis has been on Denmark’s radar of late, and his relative proximity to Scotland in comparison to other Danish players means he could now make his debut.
This is an amazing moment for Riis, who has proven to be worth the gamble at North End.
Preston very, very rarely dip into the foreign market. Sure, foreign players arrive at Deepdale, but usually from other English clubs.
Before Riis, the last player to join Preston from outside the UK or Ireland was another Danish striker, Simon Makienok.
Makienok only came in on loan from Palermo after a stint at Charlton. The last cash signing from abroad before Riis was, remarkably, Keammar Daley in 2011.
Riis had the added expectation of coming with a hefty transfer fee. Preston forked out £1.2million to sign Riis from Randers last year, marking a significant investment.
After just two league goals in his first season at Preston, some wondered whether North End’s investment would fall flat.
Instead, Riis has been on fire this season. With 11 goals in 21 outings this season, Riis has found his goalscoring touch.
Riis would absolutely cost more than £1.2million now, and that’s the key for Preston – signing young players who can grow their value and potentially make the club a huge profit down the line.
This call-up only adds to Riis’s value, but there is still so much untapped potential too.
Riis has missed a number of one-on-ones this season. Bury them and his goal tally would have passed 15 at this early stage of the campaign.
Riis is just 23 and has plenty of time to figure that side of his game out. If that composure in front of goal comes, Riis can become a goal machine for club and now possibly country too.
That £1.2million looks to have been well worth the risk, and Riis is showing the way for Preston in terms of overseas recruitment.