On Friday, Preston confirmed Callum Robinson’s exit, with the winger joining Sheffield United.
Robinson’s long association with Preston has come to an end. He first arrived on loan from Aston Villa in September 2014, then returned in February 2015. Come January 2016, Robinson was back again, penning another loan deal.
North End made the move permanent that summer, paying just £170,000 according to the LEP. Some were underwhelmed at the time, but Robinson certainly exceeded that valuation at Deepdale.
Robinson has hit 31 goals in 117 games since signing permanently, particularly starring last season. His development under Alex Neil has been a huge success, and he’s now a Premier League player.
Intriguingly, the Daily Mail’s Laurie Whitwell claims that West Brom were actually prepared to go toe-to-toe with Sheffield United for Robinson. In the end, he wanted a Premier League move, so joined the Blades instead.
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Whitwell claims the deal is £7million rising to £10million. However, the LEP claim the deal is £8million, with North End raking in huge profit either way. We’ll believe the LEP on those figures, given their close links to the club.
However, Aston Villa have a say here too. When they allowed Robinson to move, the payment was compensation at the end of his deal. Still, that had to be negotiated, and Villa inserted a sell-on clause into the deal.
We understand that sell-on clause is 15%, with Villa receiving a small financial boost now. If the fee was £8million, that would hand Villa around £1.2million, taking North End’s incoming down to just below £7million.
That’s a nice earner for Villa, who let Robinson go for a pittance three years ago. You’d imagine it’s also somewhat nice to have brought in that money whilst seeing rivals West Brom fail with a move.
It’s still enough money for North End to work with in the transfer market, but maybe not as much as people would have hoped. Robinson’s contract situation hurt North End, as he would have been a free agent next summer.
Hopefully that cash will now be reinvested in the current squad, with Neil needing reinforcements after Robinson’s exit.