Preston North End have been linked with Sam Smith and Cole Stockon but both strikers are really struggling for goals in League One.

It’s no great secret that PNE need to sign a striker in January.

Emil Riis has shown signs of getting back to last season’s form but he’s lacking in support.

Ched Evans and Seani Maguire are still picking up minutes here and there but their Championship goal drought is set to hit a year next month.


Troy Parrott is now out until after the World Cup too, and he has only managed one league goal this season.

North End fans are desperate to see another goalscorer arrive in January and a couple of targets have been linked.

The Sun’s Alan Nixon reported earlier this month that Peter Ridsdale scouted Morecambe against Cambridge United on September 24th.

The two targets from that game were believed to be Cambridge striker Sam Smith and Morecambe’s Cole Stockton.

Smith, a former Manchester United talent, hit 21 goals in 57 outings for Cambridge last season.

Stockton scored 26 goals in 50 outings last season and played with Ryan Lowe as well as James Wallace at Tranmere Rovers.

Yet if PNE were hoping the duo would be able to solve the club’s striking issues, their form isn’t making that seem likely.

Portsmouth v Cambridge United - Sky Bet League One
Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Smith has scored four times this season but three of them came in one game.

Since that hat-trick against Burton Albion in August, Smith has gone 11 games without a goal.

Deployed as a winger as well as a striker, Smith has yet to show that last season’s exploits were a flash in the pan.

Stockton’s form isn’t much better, as he is still waiting for his first goal of the season after 13 blanks.

Some have wondered whether the 28-year-old had just hit something of a purple patch – albeit a two-year one – having racked up goals with Morecambe after failing to score constantly elsewhere.

This season isn’t exactly ending that belief and doesn’t really indicate that he can be PNE’s goalscoring saviour.

Strikers don’t come cheap and we have no issue with PNE looking into lower leagues for solutions, but Smith and Stockton may fade off the radar given their struggles.

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