Peter Ridsdale shares why Preston didn't sign Rhian Brewster in January

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Preston North End are in the market for a new striker this summer, but have yet to come close to a new arrival there.

Seani Maguire was Preston’s top-scoring striker last season with just five goals; Jayden Stockley managed four, with David Nugent and Louis Moult bagging one each.

11 goals between four strikers isn’t quite going to cut it if Preston have real dreams of reaching the playoffs, and a new hitman is needed.

Finding one on Preston’s budget isn’t easy, and that has left some wondering whether North End could – or should – look to the loan market for reinforcements up top.

PRESTON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 01: Rhian Brewster of Swansea City celebrates scoring his side’s equalising goal to make the score 1-1 during the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Swansea City at the Deepdale Stadium on February 01, 2020 in Preston, England. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Preston have made just four loan signings in Alex Neil’s time as Preston boss; Stephy Mavididi in 2017, Lukas Nmecha and Brandon Barker in 2018 and Andre Green in 2019.

Two were cut short early, with a real lack of real success from those four moves – and Peter Ridsdale has commented on why North End don’t often look to borrow players.

Speaking to From the Finney in their excellent podcast with North End’s advisor, Ridsdale admitted that Preston looked into signing Rhian Brewster on loan from Liverpool in January.

Brewster, 20, ended up at Swansea City instead, and he scored 10 goals in 20 Championship games to fire the Swans into the playoffs come the end of the season.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 30: Rhian Brewster of Liverpool scores his sides third penalty during the penalty shoot out during the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on October 30, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Some felt that adding Brewster could have pushed Preston over the line, though it’s worth noting that Swansea boss Steve Cooper worked with Brewster in the England youth setup so they always had an advantage.

Ridsdale notes that Preston held talks with Brewster and his mum at Christmas, but the loan fee and wages involved were ‘onerous’ to Preston, and the club didn’t want to splash out on a player who would be returning to Liverpool just months later.

Instead, Preston want to invest in players that will stay at Deepdale for some time, and seemingly has no regrets despite Brewster’s superb record at Swansea.

“Rhian Brewster, we look at him at Christmas,” said Ridsdale. “Alex and I met him and his mum. The terms of that loan fee, to us, were onerous, because there was a loan fee and his wages were high by our comparison, but then in the summer he was going to go back to Liverpool, so all we were doing is making somebody better for somebody else. At least if you sign your own players, you’ve got a chance that they want to play for you and stay with you and be a part of your future success,” he added.

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