3 areas Preston North End need to focus on if Chris Kirchner completes takeover


After years and years of ownership solidity and with the club bobbing along nicely in the Championship and League One, it appears it could soon be all change at the top.

Chris Kirchner is the name in the frame to complete a takeover at Deepdale, with the Lancashire Evening Post reporting that things are moving along nicely and that, whilst a deal may take a while, it is certainly still ongoing.

That has led to a bit uncertainty from many supporters of the club over the last few weeks. Some have brought out the American flags and the bald-eagles and are desperate for a new face to lead and potentially inject some cash into the side. It even has some dreaming of a push towards Premier League football.

Others have been much more cautious and are reserving judgement until any potential takeover goes through, with worries about how he will lead the Lilywhites going forward. As per, there are two very contrasting stances on North End Twitter and I suppose only time will tell as to whether or not Kirchner does take over and whether it ends up being a positive or negative.

One thing is certain though and that is that PNE have a big summer ahead of them. The club have been all change in terms of their management with Ryan Lowe coming in and there are a multitude of players all out of contract in the summer.

That should mean the playing squad is freshened up and with the right amount of investment, who is to say that a top six push won’t be on the cards next year?

With that in mind then, if Chris Kirchner takes over and does fancy chucking some money at us when he first takes the reins, then here are three areas we definitely need to look at sorting in the summer window.

1. Wing-Backs (Both)

The most pressing concern in the squad – especially since Ryan Lowe was installed as boss – comes in both of the wing-back areas.

Right now, the key position of need is at LWB. The side have alternated who has played that role ever since the new manager came in, with Scott Sinclair, Josh Earl and Greg Cunningham all playing there to name just three.

In Ryan Lowe’s system though, these wing-backs are important and if he can get a suitable player in there to fill the role he wants, then it would massively help out the team. Right now though, we’re in a situation where Earl doesn’t appear to have the capabilities going forward, Cunningham is injured and has perhaps lost a step or two because of it and Sinclair has offered little.

On the right, Brad Potts has at least filled the void well and has made that spot his own despite being a midfielder. Still, it would be useful to have another option there too considering Matthew Olosunde isn’t in the 25-man squad (so mustn’t be too well-regarded) and Tom Barkhuizen is also injured and out of contract.

This must be the first priority for Kirchner and co then if he comes in – give Ryan Lowe a blank chequebook (or at least a fair few quid!) and tell him to go and sign his ideal wing-back because it is a position that needs sorting in this system.

2. Striker

With Cameron Archer likely to return to his parent club and probably not come back to Deepdale, it would leave North End with just three main striking options. With Sinclair and Barkhuizen out of contract and their futures unclear, it means only Emil Riis, Sean Maguire and Ched Evans can really play there.

Riis has been electric at times and has already bagged double digits for North End this year. He looks like he could certainly be our main goal threat going forward. Aside from him though, Evans is a battler but has a low goal contribution rate and it’s a similar story with Maguire (and the latter also tends to get injured).

We need more depth in that striking area then, especially if both Sinclair and Barkhuizen leave and we continue to play with two strikers. An injury to Maguire would mean we have only two options for two positions, so an injury crisis there would really throw us into jeopardy.

It would make sense then to at least either try and renew Archer’s loan for another year (which I’m sure we’ll be trying desperately to do anyway) or to bring in another valuable option, probably one on the younger side too considering Ched’s age.

3. Goalkeeper

The final position might surprise a few but we could definitely use another goalkeeping option. Daniel Iversen is undoubtedly the dream signing – if we have the funds to make it possible under Kirchner, then we should definitely be looking at snapping him up permanently.

If that is out of the question, then we certainly need some extra options in-between the sticks. Declan Rudd has had some injury issues and while he has proven to be a solid option, he can be up and down in terms of his form. He would be number one if not for Iversen, so it would at least be good to give him competition for that spot or at least sign someone to make him the number two options.

Connor Ripley looked okay with Salford but they’re a lot lower in the EFL than us and for us previously, he has looked out of his depth and shouldn’t be considered as starting shot-stopper. Behind him, Matthew Hudson remains inexperienced in the Football League and couldn’t be trusted either.

We’ve all grown accustomed to safety in goal with Iversen there so if he leaves, we need to fill that void quickly.

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