Preston North End striker Jordan Hugill was left out of their squad for last night’s trip to face Nottingham Forest, adding fuel to the fire over a proposed Deadline Day move to Crystal Palace.
After a report in The Sun yesterday morning incorrectly stated that the Eagles had agreed a fee with the Championship outfit for Hugill, we were told that he had in fact travelled with his teammates to The City Ground by BBC sports reporter Andy Bayes.
Given that fact, it seems rather curious that he would be left out of the squad altogether unless something was in the offiing before tonight’s deadline, particularly when you consider that he started their last game at home to Birmingham as the side’s only out-and-out striker.
Whilst the change in personnel clearly didn’t have a negative impact on Alex Neil’s men, (they came away with a dominant 3-0 win) it’s difficult to assume that Hugill’s exclusion from the squad was a mere coincidence in the circumstances, meaning we should probably be primed for some movement on that front between now and 11pm tonight.
Admittedly, the signing of a 25-year-old who has a career record of 40 goals in 142 games below the top flight is unlikely to get too many pulses racing but in these instances, I’m of a mind to trust Dougie Freedman’s judgement far more than most.
Known to be the very definition of a target man, Jordan would likely be asked to utilise his strength and size as an alternative to Christian Benteke at the head of our side and whilst it may well take him a while to acclimatise to the demands of the top flight, I’m sure he’d get there before too long with coaching, given his background at the lower levels of the game.
There is believed to be interest from the likes of Leeds and Middlesbrough too but with the extra funds we have available to us coupled with the lure of Premier League football, you’d assume the lad would jump at the chance to join us over Preston’s direct competitors.
Watch this space.