Why Preston North End have done the best business in the Championship so far in January
Championship side Preston North End have done some of their transfer business early this January which is always good to see. Many clubs leave it so late to get deals over the line and many moves are done out of sheer panic. However, what Preston have done is a good example to all other Championship clubs. They have a very impressive transfer policy and have a build a very solid team without spending a ridiculous amount of money. They are competing at the top end of the Championship and have assembled a squad costing under £5 million in transfer fees. Some clubs like Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Wolves, for example, have £5 million-rated players who cannot get on their bench!
Preston have made some very shrewd signings over the past few seasons, such as youngsters like Ben Pearson and Ben Harrop from Manchester United and Callum Robinson and Daniel Johnson from Aston Villa. They have also in recent seasons signed talent from Ireland, bringing in the likes of Andy Boyle, Kevin O'Connor, Sean Maguire and Daryll Horgan. These are all players now who are settled and established in the Championship and were all cheap to bring in.
There business this January has been impressive too. They have signed Motherwell striker Louis Moult into the club and also Bristol Rovers winger Billy Bodin. These two have both been in fine form for their clubs over the past couple of seasons and both have a point to prove with Preston. These sort of players can only get better and Preston give them a chance to play regular first-team football at a high level and a really good opportunity to develop into top players. We have seen this with Jordan Hugill, who although still plays for Preston, he is seen as one of the best strikers in the Championship and is valued at over £8 million.
Preston have done the best business in the division so far this January. The signing of Louis Moult from Motherwell is a very shrewd one indeed. He has had to work his way up to the Championship having spent a lot of his early career playing in non-league. He was released by Stoke as a youngster and played in non-league for Nuneaton Town and Wrexham before moving to Scottish side Motherwell. He was prolific for both Nuneaton and Wrexham and scored over 15 goals in every season he played in the Conference (now National League). He joined Motherwell in 2015 and scored 50 goals in 3 seasons for them as he adapted very well to life in the Scottish Premier League. Preston fans will be hoping the 25-year-old can do the same for them.
Billy Bodin has also joined Preston from League One side Bristol Rovers. He has been a man in demand over the past year or so and has been linked with various Championship clubs in the past.
However, it is Preston who have landed the Welsh winger. He was seen by many as one of the best player in League One. He joined Bristol Rovers from Swindon Town in 2015, where he had come up through their academy, and scored 36 goals in 107 games for the Pirates. He has also been a regular for the Wales U21 squad in the past. He will be hoping his move to Preston will land him his Wales senior debut. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the Championship.