Preston aren’t getting all that much out of their wide options right now, and attacking reinforcements should be a priority this summer.
We mentioned on Wednesday that Preston’s wingers aren’t really contributing much at the moment, with the exception of new loan signing Anthony Gordon.
Scott Sinclair has scored just once in his last 10 outings and has just one non-penalty assist this season, whilst Tom Barkhuizen is without a goal since December 5th – a 14-game goalless streak – and has no assists since the 3-0 win over Reading in November.
Billy Bodin is injured again whilst Seani Maguire is also out, so with Gordon heading back to Everton this summer, North End must look to the market for another wide option.
They shouldn’t look far though, as Accrington Stanley ace Dion Charles could be just what North End are looking for having turned in a great campaign in League One.
The 25-year-old has hit 13 goals and two assists in just 22 League One appearances this season, and his versatility has to be appealing to North End; he has played as a striker, left winger and right winger this term.
With a brace against Lincoln City last weekend, Charles now has seven goals in his last seven outings for Accy, and you can’t help but be impressed with how he is scoring them.
Against Hull, he ran off the last defender to fire home on his left foot. At Plymouth, he registered an assist and a poacher’s goal, both with his left foot, but it was his right foot that did the business against Lincoln last weekend as he intercepted the goalkeeper’s pass, had the composure to beat a defender and then drilled his shot into the net.
Charles seems to be naturally two-footed, as he equalised in the same game with a fine touch and volley, both on his left side. Against Bristol Rovers, Charles hit a hat-trick; beating two men to score a right-footed drive, lobbing the goalkeeper with a left-footeded finish and then flicking home a nonchalant finish on his right for the hat-trick.
No matter where you play him, Charles just seems to get himself involved in the final third. His productivity in League One feels like a nice complement to a ‘moments’ player in Sinclair and a confidence player in Barkhuizen.
Yes, he’s 25 and maybe doesn’t have a huge ceiling in terms of his potential, but we know Preston aren’t blessed with cash, so moving for a very good League One player could make sense.
Add in that Charles was born in Preston and would surely jump at the chance to play for his hometown club, and the Northern Ireland ace looks to be an ideal target.
Hopefully Charles is at least on the Preston radar; we believe he was last season, and his current form should be turning heads at Deepdale.