Preston North End have completed their second permanent signing of the transfer window with the transfer of striker Jayden Stockley.
The Lilywhites have paid an undisclosed fee to the Grecians for their top scorer, who has agreed a three-and-a-half-year deal at Deepdale.
In 98 appearances for the St James Park club, 25-year-old Jayden scored 51 goals and was the top scorer in all four English leagues in 2018, ahead of Liverpool’s Mo Salah and also scored more headed goals in the calendar year than any player in the top European leagues.
North End beat off the competition of a number of other Championship clubs to sign the Poole-born forward, and speaking about the move, Jayden said: "I can't wait to meet all the boys and get training, once everything is sorted out from a business end you want to get the football going as soon as possible and to help the boys.
"I'm glad I can come here in a rich vein of form and hopefully I can continue that and offer my qualities to this already strong team. I feel confident and I'm very thankful for the move."
Manager Alex Neil was pleased to get in another player, adding to the signing of Josh Ginnelly on New Year’s Day and feels Stockley will add something different to his squad.
He added: “We have spoken at length about having a big target man since Jordan Hugill left. We have different types of strikers; you’ve got Sean [Maguire] who is small and nippy one, we’ve got Lukas [Nmecha] who is big, athletic, a good runner, Louis [Moult] who can take it in and link the game as a penalty box striker and I think Jayden gives us a different type.
“He is six foot three, he has scored the most headed goals in Europe this year and I think we’ve got someone who, when the going gets tough and teams hunt us and press us, we can turn the ball up to him, work around him and now when team’s sit in, we can put the ball into the box and expect the big fella to hopefully get on the end of some of them.
“He will certainly give us a different option. He is a good age as well, 25, and he is fully fit. He has been playing regularly for Exeter, which is a big thing, because sometimes when you do business in January, you can bring in guys who haven’t been playing, whereas that is not the case here and we hope he can come in and hit the ground running.
“He went up to Aberdeen and then came back down to Exeter, so he is very similar to a lot of our squad where he has done it the hard way to get to this level and hopefully we can now give him a platform where he can go and thrive.”
He will join up with his new team-mates immediately, but is cup tied for the weekend’s clash with Doncaster Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup and will be available for the first time when PNE take on Swansea City at Deepdale on Saturday 12th January.