It’s no great surprise that Preston are being linked with attackers ahead of January.
North End have scored just five goals in the last nine games, posting blanks in six of them. Seani Maguire has one goal in 17 games, Tom Barkhuizen is without a goal in 11 games, Billy Bodin hasn’t found the net in nine.
All of these records show that North End need firepower in January. A striker will be the priority, but another wide man would be a smart addition, given that Callum Robinson was never really replaced.
Now, Football Insider claim that Preston are keen on Salford City attacker Brandon Thomas-Asante. QPR are in the race too, with a ‘cut-price’ move believed to be a possibility.
Thomas-Asante is out of contract at the end of the season, so Preston could swoop in and get him on the cheap. The 21-year-old has enjoyed a fine Christmas, scoring his first goal for Salford in a 3-1 win over Crewe Alexandra before then bagging twice against Oldham Athletic on Sunday.
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Those goals showed Thomas-Asante’s talent. His strike against Crewe came from staying on the shoulder of the last man, easing a defender out of the way before firing home.
Against Oldham, he peeled away to the left before driving at his defender and smashing a left-footed strike into the net. Thomas-Asante then scored a poacher’s goal, finding himself unmarked at the back post to slot home Salford’s fourth.
The 21-year-old is small but quick, and has the ability to play out wide or up front. That could make him a fine fit in Alex Neil’s attack, with versatility important with the likes of Maguire, Barkhuizen and Bodin.
We’re not reading too much into this one though. Thomas-Asante was released by MK Dons last season, couldn’t win a contract with Swindon Town, then joined Ebbsfleet United before heading to Salford. With fine form over Christmas and an expiring deal, this does seem like an agent trying to win a new contract whilst the stock is high, having been through the ‘out of contract’ life last summer.
He’s young and talented, so maybe Preston would be keen, but it all smacks of Josh Ginnelly again – an in-form attacker coming to the end of his contract that is available on the cheap, but may not be ready for Championship football.