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Is Riis the striker Preston have been waiting years for?

Emil Riis notched two more goals on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup against Morecambe.

He takes his tally to four for the season already, more than last campaign when he managed just three.

It has often been said that the Danish striker is a ‘confidence player’. It looks like that is being proved this season. He scored seven minutes into the season, in the opening game against Hull City and he hasn’t looked back since.

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He’s actually only started three of the six games this season though, but surely now deserves a start on Saturday against Swansea City.

Riis is quite clearly the most in form striker in the squad. The 23-year-old has relished playing in front of Preston fans for the first time this season. I mentioned his sub cameo last weekend was particularly good. He could have scored a couple that day, but the fans are showing their appreciation for him.

‘Riis’ is now bellowed in the same way ‘ Beast’ was when Jon Parkin used to lead the line. A Denmark flag was present at the Morecambe game on Tuesday, and it’s great to see fans get behind a striker who is wanting to shine in his second spell in England.

The departure of Jordan Hugill left a huge void in the squad that hasn’t really been replaced three and a half years later. He is now set to link up with Callum Robinson at West Bromwich Albion which is a prospect that comes with mixed emotions for Preston fans.

Another striker is needed in the squad of course. Is that answer Connor Wickham? Who knows, that will be mainly down to whether he can stay fit which looks unlikely. But at least in Emil Riis we have a different kind of striker than we have had of late.

Photo by Stephen White – CameraSport via Getty Images

He’s strong, quick, powerful and always keen to have a shot on goal. His finishing is improving, and he is relishing the chance of playing in the Championship. The fans are on his side, and we really could see an impressive season from him this time round.

In the last two games, balls have been played on the ground for him to run onto. It’s refreshing to see that, rather than long balls up to his head, because he is a big lad as well, so it’s easy to fall into that trap. He can use his pace to run onto through balls, and then his strength to hold of defenders too. He is also capable of a bit of trickery to beat a man as well.

North End did spend seven figures on him, and you have to give them credit for finding talent in Europe rather than the usual places we look for signings. We ask the club to spend money and think a bit outside the box, and Emil Riis is exactly that.

Championship clubs won’t know too much about him, and he may be able to spring a few surprises this season.

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