In a previous article here on North End Blog, I took time to evaluate some of last season’s signings based on what I saw from them in the 2016-17 campaign.
This time round we’re going to be looking at the more attacking players brought to Deepdale: the midfielders and forwards.
Taking into account the performances they produced last season, I will rate each of the signings out of ten starting with midfielder Ben Pringle.
Ben Pringle (4/10)
Pringle arrived from Championship rivals Fulham in the summer of 2016 and was perhaps the signing which offered the most optimism of all mainly due to his impressive performances for Rotherham in League One.
But his season was nothing more than a let down if truth be told as he never really got going in a white shirt. He was handed opportunities to prove himself in his 14 appearances for the club but he showed no particular signs of quality and didn’t actually make an appearance for the club after January. Four out of ten.
Callum Robinson (9/10)
Following several loan spells with the club, Callum Robinson finally put pen to paper on a permanent contract at Deepdale but sections of the supporters weren’t convinced by the former Villa man who made just 15 appearances in the season prior.
But Robinson proved his doubters wrong by netting an impressive 11 times in a season where he was one of Preston’s main men, winning North End Blog’s Player of the Month award for the first two months of the season. Nine out of ten.
Daryl Horgan (7/10)
Winger Daryl Horgan arrived at Deepdale from Irish champions Dundalk alongside defender Andy Boyle and nobody really knew what to expect from the tricky player.
His debut showed signs that Preston could have a real gem on their hands with Horgan and it didn’t take him long at all to establish a regular place in the starting XI with his dazzling ability on the ball making him a very exciting player to watch. Seven out of ten.
Eoin Doyle (4/10)
Where do I start with Eoin Doyle? Following a relatively unsuccessful loan spell, Simon Grayson made the decision to bring Doyle back on a permanent basis and in all honesty, he probably regrets it.
I don’t doubt Doyle’s effort. I think every time he was thrown into the side he really did try to impress but he just doesn’t look cut out for the Championship and that’s why it was no surprise to see him loaned out in January. Four out of ten.
Aiden McGeady (10/10)
I don’t think anybody could argue with me when I say that this signing certainly proved to be the best of the lot.
Aiden McGeady arrived from Everton on transfer deadline day last August and after his arrival, poor reviews were flooding in from Sheffield Wednesday after a dreadful loan spell at Hillsborough. Well, he showed no signs of that at Deepdale.
His outstanding delivery, his exceptional ability to strike a ball and his eye catching trickery made him a real fan’s favourite and was enough to earn him the Player of the Year award. Ten out of ten. (Reviewing this in September it’s no surprise I now feel very, very differently.)
Simon Makienok (5/10)
This was another strange one. The season prior to the one just passed saw Simon Makienok relegated with loan side Charlton Athletic where he managed to score just five goals. But Grayson saw something in the 6ft 7 striker and hence brought him to Deepdale.
The lanky striker was quickly criticised by supporters for what looked like a real lack of effort as well as, despite his height, his incompetence in the air. He scored just three goals in the league but his hat-trick away at Premier League side Bournemouth definitely deserves a positive mention. Five out of ten.
Tom Barkhuizen (10/10)
Morecambe’s financial troubles unfortunately for them meant that their best players had to be let go and so Tom Barkhuizen was released.
The lightning fast attacker then joined the Whites in November but had a painful wait until the beginning of January until he could feature in a competitive match but when he did have the opportunity to play, boy did he take it.
His spell of five goals in four games caught the eye of football fans up and down the country, even earning himself the Championship Player of the Month award for March. Arguably the best long-term signing. Ten out of ten.
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