Cardiff City v Preston North End: The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
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Scott Sinclair stumbles again as Ryan Lowe chases new striker signing for Preston North End

Saturday marked two years since Preston signed Scott Sinclair. Sadly, Sunday’s display against Cardiff City summed up his time at Deepdale.

We all remember the excitement when Sinclair first joined from Celtic in January 2020.

Sinclair had been a hero at Celtic, smashing 62 goals in 167 games. A player of Sinclair’s calibre joining Preston permanently was something we hadn’t really seen for a while.

Undoubtedly one of Preston’s highest earners, Sinclair was expected to be a game-changer in Preston’s attack.

Sadly, it hasn’t happened that way.

Sure, there have been high points. Sinclair scored nine Championship goals last season, including the stunner against Bournemouth.

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This season, it’s started to unravel a little for Sinclair. The 32-year-old has managed just four league starts and has struggled for a role in Preston’s new system.

Preston have gone to more of a 3-5-2 this season, with Sinclair being forced to play as a striker. That hasn’t really worked for Sinclair, even with his finishing ability.

On Sunday, Sinclair was given a chance in the Preston attack, coming on as a substitute in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Cardiff City.

Sinclair really didn’t take his chance. Almost every time the ball went into Sinclair, he was either offside or lost possession.

Sinclair made little impact on the game, and this kind of sums up his time at Preston; mostly disappointing despite knowing he has so much quality.

Photo by Ian Cook – CameraSport via Getty Images

Turning 33 in March, time may be up for Sinclair at Preston. His contract expires this summer, but can you really rule out him leaving this month?

Sinclair hasn’t really shown Ryan Lowe what he can do, and the new Preston boss is already looking at other strikers.

Ryan Hardie is one target, with Preston’s attackers yet to really get going under Lowe.

Emil Riis looks a little short of confidence again, Ched Evans hasn’t offered much outside of a decent second half at Stoke, Seani Maguire is still struggling to score and Sinclair was ineffectual against Cardiff.

Lowe will be making decisions on all of these players, and it’s currently hard to see him keeping hold of Sinclair.

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