Alex Neil wants a little more experience in his Preston squad this summer, and we’re still expecting that to mean more signings like Brad Potts.
By that, we mean players with Championship experience and real potential, with Potts ideal for that. We’re not really expecting a raft of 30-somethings to come into a youthful Deepdale setup.
However, it may be wise to bring in a striker with a real Championship record. That may require spending on a player in his late 20’s, just to bring that real goal threat at the top end of the pitch.
Finding players who fit that bill are difficult. Wages are often the issue for North End, but one key signing could give Neil’s squad an added edge heading into next season.
One player who does fit the bill though is Nahki Wells, currently with rivals Burnley. The 29-year-old spent last season at QPR, notching nine goals and seven assists in all competitions.
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He returns to Turf Moor with no clear role at the club. He has just a year left on his contract, meaning Burnley may well be ready to cash in this summer. Spotrac claim he earns £25,000-a-week, which would be an issue for North End, but QPR managed to find an agreement, and Wells himself may be willing to take a cut in order to settle down and play again.
By moving to Deepdale, Wells would at least be able to stay local. He would fit as a lone striker having played that role for Huddersfield Town despite his diminutive stature, and he has a turn of pace that North End lack up top sometimes.
With Huddersfield, Wells hit double figures in his last three seasons, whilst his record for QPR shows a goalscorer as well as a creator. The Bermuda international is a real, proven Championship goalscorer, and figures to be one of the few available this summer.
North End had some interest in Wells last summer but wouldn’t strike a deal. Things have changed a little since then, with Neil signing a three-year deal to stay, presumably on the basis he’ll get big signings coming in.
Wells fits that bill, and whilst it would require North End pushing the boat out a little, he’s got a great record and more than enough life left in the tank to fire Preston into the play-offs – and possibly further, just as he did with Huddersfield.