Preston are down a striker with Troy Parrott now out through injury – but don’t expect to see a free agent arrive in his place.

North End beat Norwich City 3-2 on Saturday afternoon in a superb victory at Carrow Road.

The winner came from Parrott as his deflected shot somehow found its way past Tim Krul at the near post.

This was a bittersweet moment for the Irishman.

That goal ended Parrott’s long wait for a Championship, but he seemingly picked up an injury whilst celebrating.

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Parrott is now out until after the World Cup and Preston’s striking options have been heavily dented.

Emil Riis is at least back in form but Seani Maguire has to be managed carefully, Ched Evans has looked well off the pace this season, Mikey O’Neill is untested and Ben Woodburn is hardly a striker.

Fans have been wondering whether North End could dip into the free agent market and bring a striker to the club outside of the transfer window.

Don’t hold you breath though, firstly because boss Ryan Lowe admitted to the LEP in September that he wasn’t even looking at the free agent market and any players without a club would have to contact North End to get a move started.

Secondly, the free agent market just isn’t all that exciting at the moment.

Matej Vydra is a fascinating name but is likely to be out of North End’s reach and is still working his way back from a knee injury.

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Hal Robson-Kanu has been working as a pundit and hasn’t kicked a ball in over a year.

Daniel Sturridge is one of the big names out there and Lowe will have seen him excel for his beloved Liverpool, but that was going on 10 years ago; now 33, Sturridge has barely played in recent years with injuries piling up.

Marc McNulty, Jerome Sinclair, Tom Elliott, Fraizer Campbell, Nick Blackman, Isaac Vassell… these players are all available but have either gone through injuries or just haven’t been scoring.

It’s somewhat ironic that one of the free agents that seems the most appealing of a bad bunch is Scott Sinclair – a player North End released at the end of last season.

Unless Preston dip into the foreign market, which seems unlikely, we just can’t see anybody out there that could come in and help North End whilst Parrott is out.

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