Date: 21st August 2020 at 2:07pm
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Reports from Wigan Today are claiming that Preston North End are preparing to launch a move for Josh Windass from Wigan Athletic.

The 26-year old has been linked with us in the past (in fact, we had a bid rejected when he was at Rangers back in 2017) and with the Latics looking to offload as many players as possible to free up funds due to their ongoing administration, we seem to be back in the running.

Windass played 25 times in all competitions last season, including nine games for Sheffield Wednesday on loan, bagging seven goals. The Owls liked what they saw of the attacking midfielder and have since made official moves to bring the player back to Hillsborough.

According to these reports, they too have met Wigan’s asking price for the attacking midfielder but so have us and another club, meaning it looks like a three-way battle to secure his signature.

Considering the financial hardships that Wigan currently find themselves in, the asking price for Windass isn’t likely to be very high. I can’t see it being near to the original fee of £2.5m and it could in fact be considerably less, considering this report claims Latics still owe £500,000 to Rangers for the player.

Analysing Josh Windass’ playing positions and attacking stats

Windass is quite a flexible player and could be quite a good addition to the Lilywhites squad. His main position is as an attacking midfielder but he has also featured as a central midfielder, second striker, left midfielder, centre forward and right midfielder in his career – so he’s certainly versatile!

Whether he would feature in his main position is certainly a good question to ask, considering we also have the 2019/20 Player of the Season Daniel Johnson who can play there and who has made that role his own, as well as Alan Browne, Josh Harrop and Brad Potts.

It means he might be called upon, if signed, to play in a variety of different positions which could be very useful for us as an option in attack. It gives Alex Neil the chance to mix things up in terms of forward options and also help him to do something he does quite often in picking a team based on the opposition’s weaknesses.

In addition to his versatility, his stats from last year go to show how much of an extra attacking threat he can add to our side. Yes, he isn’t a goalscoring striker and he most definitely will not be enough for us in terms of someone who can bag the goals on a regular basis.

However, he averaged a goal every 221 minutes according to FootyStats last season – a better rate than ANY North End striker and even better than leading scorer Daniel Johnson.

In addition to his goalscoring prowess from the attacking midfield position, he also averaged 14.5 accurate passes per game (a rate of 82%, more than DJ’s 79% although he played much less) and 1.3 shots per game (more than Seani Maguire, Jayden Stockley and DJ) showing not only does he have good vision but isn’t afraid to test the opposition goalkeeper and make them work – something we have lacked, as quite often we see our forwards prefer to pass than shoot when they get around the area. Windass looks much more likely to fire a shot in.

That’s just a few handpicked stats on the 26-year old that show he could be a superb addition to the squad, as a valuable option in attack. It would be even better if we can secure him in a cut-price deal. As things stand, it looks like we are certainly in the running but whether we will be able to see off any offers from Sheffield Wednesday and the other mystery party on our modest budget is anyone’s guess.