Preston made just the one January signing, but it was certainly a big one.

North End finally snapped up Scott Sinclair, signing the Celtic winger having first targeted him over the summer. He was eyed up as the replacement for Callum Robinson, but no deal materialised.

Andre Green was signed instead, but when his torrid loan spell came to an end, Preston went back to Sinclair. Early in January, North End struck for Sinclair, handing him a contract until 2022.

Scott Sinclair of Preston North End celebrates scoring. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)


Sinclair has already shown flashes of his quality, and opened his goalscoring account against Swansea City last weekend. This past weekend, Sinclair will be disappointed not to have scored against Wigan Athletic, having fired a golden chance wide.

Still, there’s more than enough reason to be encouraged about Sinclair. After all, he’s still building up his fitness again having become a forgotten man at Celtic under Neil Lennon.

The 30-year-old was a key player under Brendan Rodgers, and won three successive trebles in an incredible run of success for the Bhoys. Sinclair won Celtic’s Supporters’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year in 2017, even adding the PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year too.

Celtic’s Scott Sinclair. (Photo by Paul Ursachi/MB Media/Getty Images)

Before the start of this season, Sinclair had hit 60 goals in 160 games for Celtic, but was bizarrely left on the sidelines by Lennon. In the end, Sinclair simply had to leave, and joined North End in order to play first-team football.

Now, Sinclair has told BBC Sport that he was even forced to train with the reserves at Celtic despite not really knowing the reason, and admitted it was ‘hard to take’ the fall from scoring week in and week out to not even training with the first team, but had to try and stay professional before securing his exit.

“Obviously my game-time was a little bit restricted coming towards the end and I thought it was time to move on,” said Sinclair. “You have gone from playing week in week out, scoring goals, scoring 60 goals in three seasons and then before you know it you are sometimes training with the reserves for whichever reason that was. That was hard to take but I had to sort of dig in and stay professional which I did. But, yeah, it was a very tough time for me in the last stages,” he added.

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