Emil Riis is staying at Preston – but North End’s transfer window can’t end there.
The last couple of weeks have seen Middlesbrough strongly linked with Riis as they chase yet another new striker.
Even after signing three centre forwards this summer, Boro have still been pursuing Riis.
This is just what Preston needed ahead of tonight’s trip to Coventry City.
The Riis saga is out of the way, we don’t have to worry about a late exit and Riis can just focus on scoring goals again after a slow start to the season.
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Peter Ridsdale, Craig Hemmings and co deserve praise for sticking to their guns on Riis and not selling easily, but that can’t be the end of Preston’s window.
Ryan Lowe appears to be taking North End forward but he still needs a couple more additions before Thursday’s deadline.
Lowe made it clear after the signings of Freddie Woodman, David Cornell, Robbie Brady and Ben Woodburn that he wanted four more arrivals.
Lowe was bullish about this; he told the Lancashire Evening Post in July that his need for four more signings had been communicated directly to Ridsdale.
Lowe added to Lancs Live’s George Hodgson just a couple of days later that he had been ‘given the license’ to sign those four players, and would be happy once they were on board.
More than a month on and Preston have only added two of the four, with Troy Parrott and Alvaro Fernandez arriving on loan from Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United respectively.
Two signings are still needed; a right wing back, which has been a focus throughout the summer, and another striker.
Brad Potts is performing admirably at right wing back but there is no natural option there in the Preston squad.
Alan Browne and Ali McCann can play there if needed, but Lowe wanted two players for every position and a right wing back signing continues to evade North End.
Ethan Laird was linked but joined Queens Park Rangers on loan; a goal and an assist in the last two games shows the kind of impact North End are seeking.
Up top, Riis staying put is a boost and Parrott has quality even if the goals haven’t been flowing for him just yet.
Beyond them though, it starts to look a little bleak for North End. Seani Maguire and Ched Evans haven’t scored since November, meaning they haven’t found the net at all under Lowe.
Mikey O’Neill has potential but hasn’t played any Championship minutes this season, so may not be one to count on.
The basis of a strong side is there; Preston are unbeaten in six this season and haven’t conceded a single goal.
Add an expansive right wing back and another goal threat and Preston could have something very promising this season.
Without those signings, many Preston fans would sink back towards a feeling of mediocrity, especially having seen just one goal in six games this term.
North End supporters did their part this summer by buying season cards in droves, seemingly hoping that Preston would match that commitment by giving Lowe what he wanted.
With just over 24 hours of the window left, fans are left hoping this hasn’t been a false dawn.
Lowe has gone from confidently stating that he would be allowed to sign the players he needed, to saying that he would be happy without them.
This window cannot just peter out now Riis is staying; two quality additions can give Preston that extra boost whilst showing the backing in Lowe and the desire to really push on rather than settle in mid-table.
The next day or so will show a lot about Preston’s ambitions moving forward and whether Lowe will be given all the tools possible to drive towards the top six.