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First Team News

Alex Neil Pleased To Add Striker To His Squad

1 October 2020

Manager Alex Neil was pleased to see new signing Emil Riis Jakobsen put pen to paper on a long term deal at Deepdale.

The Denmark U21 international joins Preston North End on a four-year deal and the gaffer is delighted to add a new dimension to his forward line.

Speaking after the deal was completed, the PNE boss said: "Emil fits our profile, he's got previous experience in England with Derby County. He's young, big, strong and quick and we are very hopeful for him, he's got good pedigree and he will help us.

"We are a striker down from where we were last year and so I think it was important to have that extra number.

"Emil is different from Sean [Maguire] and Jayden [Stockley], I think it was important that we didn't bring in someone who was similar to those two lads who generally occupy the No.9 for us. We wanted somebody a little bit different just to give us options so we have something else we can do in the games so I think that's really important.

"He is a Denmark U21 international, I think that shows the level that he is currently playing at and obviously we want to try and help to improve him and obviously add his qualities to the squad as well.

"Obviously we've got Jayden who is a traditional target for us, Emil is different to that, he wants to stretch it, he wants to run in behind, and he's got good pedigree."

Emil signed from Danish Superliga side Randers FC, but has previous experience in England having come through the youth ranks at Derby County, something the manager feels will benefit his new signing.

"I think the important thing is he has played in England as well, I think that prepares you. When I was younger I moved to England and then coming back down as a manager it prepares you for the changes that are likely to happen and the fact that he has already experienced that hopefully means there won't be too much of a settling in period for him.

"There are a lot of considerations when you are bringing foreign players in, in terms of settling in to the culture, language barriers, and a whole host of things really.

"The fact that he has previously been in England for a number of years is a big box ticked for us and I'm hoping he can hit the ground running. He knows what the Championship is about so hopefully it's a good fit."

Subject to international clearance, the 22-year-old could be in the squad for Sunday's trip to Brentford and the manager is pleased the striker has a few days to train with the squad prior to that fixture.

"It's been done in good time in the fact that we are not scrambling around in the last few days of the window, and I'm pleased to get Emil over the line. Now he's got a few days with the squad before the Brentford game and then he's going away with Denmark with the U21s.

"That will be great for him, I would much prefer it if he could stay with us so he could train a little bit more and get used to it but that is what happens when you sign good players, they have got International duties as well."


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