When Emil Riis Jakobsen touched down at Manchester airport yesterday afternoon and put pen to paper, Preston North End supporters were granted their wish of a striker.
The announcement of the Denmark U21 international on a four-year deal lifted the mood around Deepdale following a summer of frustration among fans about the lack of incomings.
Riis arrives in PR1 from Randers FC for a reported £1.2m and will go straight into contention for Sunday’s trip to Brentford.
Speaking to PNE’s official website, the 22-year-old said: “I am really excited. I am really looking forward to playing for this club, it is a dream come true for me.”
The rumour mill has thrown around some different names throughout the summer including Aston Villa’s Keinan Davis and Jordan Morris of Seattle Sounders, but PNE were knocked back for the latter after being quoted an out-of-reach figure.
North End’s new signing, formerly of Derby County, stands tall at 6ft 3in, but he isn’t a typical target man like fellow striker Jayden Stockley – Riis will look more to get in behind defences.
PNE have been interested in Riis for some time and have tracked his progress throughout the season so far, watching him score twice for club and once for country.
Can he be the missing piece?
A striker has been on the wishlist at Deepdale for a while now, with North End struggling for goals from their forwards since the departures of Jordan Hugill and Callum Robinson to Premier League sides.
Sean Maguire and Stockley have tried to fill their boots but, while their performances may have been up to scratch, their record in front of goal isn’t likely to break PNE into the Play-Offs.
That will again be the aim for the Lilywhites this season, having threatened to make the top six in every campaign since their promotion to the Championship in 2015.
Alex Neil’s side haven’t had the greatest of starts to the league campaign, picking up just a point from three games, but with his managerial prowess and the squad at his disposal, they will be looking to climb back up the league.
North End players have previously said that they have one of the strongest midfield departments in the Championship and Riis will be hoping to form good connections with those behind him, including the likes of Daniel Johnson and Ryan Ledson.
The striker will no doubt be looking to hit the ground running and there’s no better way to do that than to score on your debut.
A trip to Brentford on Sunday afternoon is a fitting start to Riis’ career as Thomas Frank’s side have their fair share of Danish internationals themselves.
It may take Riis a little while to adapt to a new country, a new league and his new teammates, but everyone in the city of Preston will be hoping he can help the club reach the Premier League for the first time ever.