Football may have been shelved thanks to the coronavirus crisis, but one Preston rumour emerged over the weekend.
The Scottish Sun reported that North End are interested in signing Hamilton Academical defender Scott McMann. Stoke City and Wigan Athletic have also been tracking the defender, having impressed this season.
McMann would allegedly cost £500,000, having only signed a new deal until 2022 in October. It may not be a sexy rumour, but McMann does fit the bill for North End.
Firstly, he wouldn’t break the bank, and is something of an unheralded player, which fits in well at Deepdale. Additionally, McMann knows boss Alex Neil well having worked under him at Hamilton; Neil even gave him his debut back in 2013.
We certainly need a left back too. Andrew Hughes has endured an injury-hit campaign, Joe Rafferty stifles the attacking play as a right-footer, and Josh Earl’s long-term future may be at centre back.
A player Neil knows well like McMann could be ideal, though some Preston fans may be concerned at bringing in another player from Scotland, with mixed success in that market.
With that in mind, we spoke to Not The Old Firm’s content leader Ben Banks about McMann, having seen plenty of the defender during his time watching Scottish football.
Ben told us how McMann is a solid, dependable left back and potential captain material at Hamilton. £500,000 may be a testing valuation, but Ben believes Neil will be able to get the best out of McMann, and he would be a sensible addition both for now and for the future.
“I’d say he’s a 7/10 every game. He will do all the basics right with his defensive qualities marginally better than his attacking ones. He’s still only 23 and is one of the more experienced guys at Accies. A highly thought of player by the club, McMann is potential captain material if a few things fall into place and he stays put for long enough. It’d be interesting to see if teams like Preston wanted to shell out £500k for him but he is contracted at Hamilton until 2022 so they’re entitled to hold out for a big fee.”
“Alex Neil worked with him as youngster so will know how to get the best out of him. It won’t take much though as he is a pretty solid hard-working player anyway. If Preston are looking for a left-back, they won’t go far wrong with McMann. Plenty of room to develop alongside being a competent starter just now.”