Preston made just the one summer signing, as they brought in striker Emil Riis from Randers for £1.2million.

North End desperately needed to sign a striker; they simply had to come out of the summer window with a new goalscorer for Alex Neil to utilise.

Riis has impressed so far, suggesting that he can solve the problem long-term – but Preston did look at other foreign options.

Preston don’t often look to the European market; Simon Makienok is the only player to arrive directly from a European club since promotion in 2015.


Almere City v AZ Alkmaar U23 - Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie
Photo by Soccrates/Getty Images

They did though look to the Eredivisie this past summer, with AZ Alkmaar striker Ferdy Druijf becoming a surprise target.

We reported in September that North End had looked at Druijf, and Peter Ridsdale later suggested that a European striker had turned down a move to sign a new four-year deal – which was seemingly Druijf.

The Dutch target man seemed an exciting target; he hit 33 goals in 40 games for AZ’s Under-19’s, 30 goals in 65 games for their Under-21’s and then 15 goals in 20 games on loan at NEC Nijmegen.

AZ Alkmaar U23 v Telstar - Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie
Photo by Soccrates/Getty Images

Druijf chose to stay with AZ rather than join North End, but he’s yet to start a single league game this season.

Druijf’s three league appearances have amounted to just 32 minutes of action. He missed a few games in October having fallen victim to the global pandemic, but his only starts have come in the cup.

With Myron Boadu AZ’s undoubted first-choice striker, Druijf may find it difficult to start this season – whilst Riis is starring at North End, showing the 22-year-old what he could have had if he’d made the move to Deepdale.

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