Preston’s recruitment has been hit and miss over the past few years, but fans very rarely see what goes on behind the scenes.
It has been suggested that they only look for low-cost transfers, and this results in limited scouting, and the odd bargain from Ireland.
However in a recent interview with the From The Finney Podcast, former Head of Recruitment Joe Savage revealed how it is such a tricky job, and impossible to always get it right.
He also mentioned that there are so many aspects of a transfer that can go wrong, and there is only so much a club can do if they wish to go elsewhere. Adam Armstrong and Jamal Lowe are two recent targets, that in the end just decided to go elsewhere, and have been successful at Blackburn Rovers and Swansea City respectively.
Savage was brought in by Alex Neil after also working with him at Hamilton Academicals and Norwich City. He’s now working as the Sporting Director at Heart of Midlothian, but expressed his pleasure at working for North End. He said it was a great club to work at, and he will support them in the hope they do one day reach the Premier League.
He explained that months, and even years of scouting and research can go into a transfer before it even reaches the public. One player he said the club identified as a target as far back as January 2020 was goalkeeper Daniel Iversen.
At the time he was on loan at Rotherham United, and Jack Cudworth – who is a goalkeeping coach at the club – had singled him out as a great option to bring in to the club.
After watching him in a game at Portsmouth, Savage said the club made a bid to sign him, but Leicester City rejected it and offered him a new contract.
A year later, after an injury to Declan Rudd, Preston finally got their man. Iversen was a fantastic addition to the team, and won many points on his own. He has to be top of the shopping list to bring back this summer, and the club are said to already be in discussions to do so.
FA Cup winners, Leicester will probably be open to letting him leave at least on loan again, but there will likely be other suitors as well.