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Alex Neil’s first 5 Preston signings and where are they now?

Alex Neil is approaching three years in charge of Preston North End in July and will regard his time at Deepdale as a positive one. The club find themselves in the playoffs in this campaign and have flirted with the top six in previous seasons.

Whilst it could be a season of finishing in the Championship playoffs for the first time under Neil and their first time since the 08/09 season, Neil will be hoping to go one better by winning promotion, either this campaign or beyond.

In his time at Deepdale, Neil has also been able to shape a squad with plenty of signings that fit the Preston mould. Here, we take a look at Neil’s first five Preston signings and delve into where they are now.

Darnell Fisher

Darnell Fisher joined Rotherham United in the summer of 2017 as an unknown quantity among Preston fans, but the right-back soon became an integral member of the first-team squad with his impressive performances.

The defender who relishes one vs one situations and is a superb blocker of the ball featured 34 times in the 17/18 Championship season, possessing qualities that managers look for in a modern-day full-back.

Fisher has arguably had his best season at the club this year prior to the leagues suspension. The 26-year-old has played 25 times, assisting five times.

Stephy Mavididi

Promising centre forward Stephy Mavididi was loaned to Preston in August 2017, however, he failed to make an impression. He featured 10 times under Neil before returning to Arsenal in January where he was loaned out again to League One Charlton.

Following a loan to Charlton, he surprisingly engineered a move to Juventus, appearing in their under 23’s before being loaned to Dijon in Ligue 1 where he has scored five goals in 24 matches.

Louis Moult

Striker Louis Moult signed from Motherwell in January 2018 after scoring 8 goals and assisting twice in 15 games, becoming one of the hottest prospects in the Scottish Premiership throughout his three-year stay.

In the second half of the season with his new club Preston, he only managed nine substitute appearances, netting twice. Whilst Republic of Ireland forward Sean Maguire was the preferred option in that area for the Lilywhites.

A lengthy injury to Moult at the start of the campaign cut his season short after finding the net against Wigan. He’s a popular player at Deepdale and someone who possesses the right instincts as a striker who’s return to action will be welcomed.

Billy Bodin

A forward, who can operate across the front three, was known for his lethal finishing in front of goal when he signed from Bristol Rovers in January 2018.

Bodin scored 11 goals in 24 games before his move to Lancashire and he is yet to reach those levels of free-scoring since his move to Deepdale, with injuries preventing him from having a consistent run of games.

The 28-year-old has only featured in 32 games since leaving Bristol in 2018. He was out for the whole of last season and sustained an Achilles injury this campaign, he will be desperate to get a run of games under his belt and make his mark.

Connor Simpson

Preston North End beat Premier League clubs to his signature when they signed him in January 2018 and was thought to be a real coup at the time. However, he has only played two minutes of professional football, with Preston loaning him to four professional clubs to aid him in his development.

The 20-year-old has been on loan at Carlisle United and most recently, Accrington Stanley where he has failed to make his mark.  The youngster has become a disconsolate figure during this development period and perhaps a permanent move elsewhere would be beneficial with his contract set to expire in the summer.

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