Preston have made just the one addition so far this summer, bringing in Patrick Bauer from Charlton Athletic.
North End fans will have hoped for a little more business – both in and out – being done before pre-season started today. Alex Neil did plead for patience though, suggesting that Preston will be going for better targets.
Other Championship clubs are busy right now, and clubs of a similar size are making moves. Barnsley have dipped into foreign markets well, and Millwall are attempting to push the boat out.
The Lions have allegedly tabled a big bid for Portsmouth winger Jamal Lowe, for instance. It’s the move for Connor Mahoney catching my eye though. The Daily Mail claim that Millwall have agreed a deal for the Bournemouth winger, with a move imminent.
Preston fans may remember Mahoney from his time with rivals Blackburn, and with North End needed wingers, this is a deal we should have been on.
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North End’s situation out wide doesn’t look great. Callum Robinson is wanted and has just a year left on his deal, as does Tom Barkhuizen. Josh Ginnelly is a ‘project’, and Billy Bodin is only just back from a year out.
That’s far from ideal, even if Seani Maguire, Brad Potts and Paul Gallagher can play wide. Adding a skilful, creative player who can play on the flanks as a number 10 is something Alex Neil has wanted for some time now. He’s wanted Kasey Palmer, Josh Windass, Bersant Celina and Lewis Morgan, but none have arrived.
Connor Mahoney would have fit the bill. Yes, his numbers of two goals and four assists last season at Birmingham City don’t look amazing, but he showed real promise with the Blues. He’s quick and skilful, he has major potential just 22, and we believe North End look at him in 2017 when leaving Blackburn.
As a left-footed winger, he may be a little similar to Bodin, but Preston are chasing Manchester City’s Luka Ilic. He plays in similar areas to Mahoney whilst also being left footed, with similar stats too.
Personally speaking, signing a proven Championship player like Mahoney permanently is far more appealing than taking Ilic on loan. It feels a little like North End have missed a trick by not targeting Mahoney, especially with those wide issues.
Preston could have surely taken on Millwall in the transfer market, but the Lancashire-born wide man looks set for The New Den – and we’ll have to wait and see whether Neil can bring in a creator of similar quality.