Preston sold striker Jayden Stockley to Charlton Athletic last summer – and he has enjoyed a superb season down in London.
North End swooped to sign Stockley in January 2019, desperately seeking a physical striker to fill the void left by Jordan Hugill.
Having hit 41 goals in 76 goals for Exeter City, there were real hopes that Stockley could make the step up from League Two to Championship.
Stockley’s effort and endeavour could never be questioned but the goals just never really flowed for him.
Nine goals in 65 Championship games just wasn’t enough for Stockley, even if many appearances came from the bench.
We did see Stockley shine as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers in October 2019, turning the game on its head to go from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
There was also a stunning long-range goal against Birmingham City in 2020, but that level just wasn’t seen often enough at Preston.
Preston allowed Stockley to go on loan to Charlton in January 2021 and eight goals in 22 games put him in the shop window.
Charlton ended up beating Portsmouth to a deal for Stockley, paying around £450,000 to secure the striker’s signature.
Stockley has been able to settle down with Charlton and is now back to scoring regularly.
The 28-year-old finished up the campaign on Saturday afternoon and finished with 20 goals in 38 games across all competitions.
That’s the kind of goal return Preston were seeking when they signed Stockley but it just didn’t happen in the Championship.
North End fans felt confident that Stockley would score regularly at Charlton and so it has proved; don’t be surprised to see him leading the League One scoring charts next season.
It still feels like the right decision for Preston to sell Stockley, but it’s great to see him making a big impact at The Valley.