Preston have an issue at centre back, and Alex Neil will surely be looking for a new signing during the January transfer window.

Patrick Bauer will miss the rest of the season with an Achilles tear, meaning Neil now wants a new partner for Ben Davies at centre back.

Jordan Storey’s development has somewhat stalled, and Paul Huntington isn’t ideal for every game, meaning a right-footed centre back will be wanted.

Bauer was a dominant force alongside the more elegant Davies, so Preston may be looking for a big centre back with ability on the ball and pace on the cover.


With that in mind, here are three players Preston could look to take on loan until the end o the season to cover for Bauer’s injury…

West Bromwich Albion v Brentford - Carabao Cup Third Round
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Cedric Kipre

Signed by West Bromwich Albion over the summer, the former Wigan man hasn’t played a single minute of league action for the Baggies. He’s a proven Championship player from his time with Wigan, and should be familiar to Neil having starred in Scotland with Motherwell. The Ivorian is a huge presence at 6ft 4in tall and certainly has the pace Neil should be looking for. Much will depend on what new boss Sam Allardyce thinks of him, but a loan and a return to North West whilst playing first-team football should be appealing.

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George Edmundson

Preston looked at Edmundson during his time with Oldham Athletic, but he ended up joining Rangers in 2019 instead. Edmundson has shown quality when given a chance, and whilst he isn’t particularly blessed with the ball at his feet, he does tick the other boxes. The 23-year-old might be available having been banned for breaching pandemic protocol, though that may in turn put North End off. A loan until the summer would give Edmundson the chance to rebuild his reputation with a return to the North West, and having been on Preston’s radar in the past, he could make sense as a target.

Preston North End v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Third Round
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Taylor Harwood-Bellis

If Preston go for a youngster, Harwood-Bellis could be the one. The 18-year-old has come up through the City ranks and even made his senior debut against Preston last year. He turns 19 in January, so gaining some first-team action should help his development at this stage in his career. Preston took Brandon Barker and Lukas Nmecha on loan from City in 2018, and returning to give Harwood-Bellis a chance in the Championship should be appealing to the Premier League giants.

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