Preston have yet to make a new signing this summer, but it’s clear that Alex Neil needs a new striker to lead the line this coming season.
North End struggled for goals from strikers last season, and there is a widespread feeling across the fanbase that Jordan Hugill still hasn’t been replaced – two-and-a-half years since his move to West Ham United.
A number of names have been suggested this summer, including Keinan Davis and Macauley Bonne, but no moves have come off just yet.
“One of the players that we’ve been turned down on, only in the last couple of the days, was a striker. We obviously got it right, because that club has offered him a four-year deal not to come to us. We’ve looked overseas, our preferred solution is in the UK and Ireland if we can,” he added.
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A name we were given by a couple of sources earlier this week was AZ Alkmaar striker Ferdy Druijf, which appears to have made it’s way to social media too.
Druijf fits the bill that Ridsdale is talking about, but it now looks like he will be staying in the Netherlands with a new deal at AZ.
The 22-year-old is a huge presence at 6ft 3in tall, and he has currently hit five goals in 28 games for AZ whilst serving as competition for wonderkid Myron Boadu.
Druijf’s record elsewhere is impressive; 33 goals in 40 games for AZ’s Under-19’s, 30 goals in 65 games for AZ’s Under-21’s and 15 goals in 20 games on loan at NEC Nijmegen.
He could have been a real find, but it seems that Preston will now have to look elsewhere in what will no doubt frustrate Ridsdale and co.
North End aren’t usually big in the foreign market; German ace Patrick Bauer joined from Charlton Athletic last summer, and the last player to arrive directly from a foreign club was Simon Makienok on loan from Palermo in 2016 – and he had been at Charlton too.
The last permanent signing directly from a foreign club was Keammar Daley from Tivoli Gardens back in 2011. That season also saw us sign the likes of Juvhel Tsoumou and Thorsten Stuckman too, both formerly of Alemannia Aachen in Germany.
We’ve mentioned before that the English market is tough for Preston to compete in budget-wise, especially when it comes to finding a player to put the ball in the net.
Looking further afield would make some sense, as Brentford have shown that there are real bargains to be had around Europe if the right players are identified.
There will be others like Druijf out there, and hopefully Preston aren’t too disheartened and can continue to look further afield for reinforcements where suitable.