With the international break upon us, Preston won’t be in action until October 19th, when they head down to take on Reading.
Alex Neil will be delighted with the form since the last international break; North End took 11 points from a possible 15 after returning from the September break, going unbeaten in that time.
Neil will no doubt want a similar run after this break ends, and he took the time to head to a League One game on Monday night.
Bolton Wanderers hosted Blackpool last night, and played out a 0-0 draw. It wasn’t exactly a game high on quality, but Neil was spotted by some fans during Sky’s coverage of the game.
— Joe P (@JoeA_P20) October 7, 2019
Neil was there alongside coach Steve Thompson, which got fans talking. Some believe that Neil must have been scouting some players, but it’s more likely that he just wanted to take in a local game without needing to plan for an upcoming Preston game.
If Neil was there for scouting reasons though, just who could he have been looking at? The Bolton side doesn’t have much in the way of Championship-ready quality right now, having gone through major financial woes.
They do though have goalkeeper Remi Matthews, who worked with Neil at Norwich. Neil even sent Matthews to his former club Hamilton Academical, and he would make sense if North End were looking for a backup goalkeeper. That seems unlikely, unless Connor Ripley wants to go in January.
Young players are more likely to be Preston targets, with a few on show. Romanian teenager Dennis Politic is highly rated at Bolton, and the winger would tick boxes as a North End signing given his potential. Defender Yoan Zouma impressed for Wanderers too, just in case Preston are looking for another centre back.
On the Blackpool side, striker Armand Gnanduillet has hit six goals in 12 games this season, and has the athletic profile we’d be looking for, but he’s approaching 28 and has limited success outside of League One.
Defender Curtis Tilt is out of contract next summer and would fit as cover for Ben Davies as the left-footed centre back, but it’s hard to really see Preston targeting anyone from this game.
Politic is the best bet, but we’re still guessing that this was just a trip to watch some local football, rather than a transfer mission.