Carlisle United Football Club have today signed Preston forward Connor Simpson on a half-season loan deal which keeps him at Brunton Park until the end of the current campaign.
Guisborough-born Simpson, 19 at the end of this month, came through the youth ranks with Harltepool but was snapped up by the Lilywhites during last January’s transfer window having been courted by a number of clubs.
The Blues got to see him first hand when he scored the first goal in a 2-0 FA Youth Cup victory here at Brunton Park in November 2017 – a neat finish with just five minutes of the game left to play.
He scored once in nine senior appearances for Pools, but really made his mark in October when he scored eight goals in 15 appearances during his loan spell with Hyde United.
His debut for Preston came at Villa Park shortly after he had signed a deal which keeps him at Deepdale until the summer of 2020.
Director of football David Holdsworth said: “He’s a young man who has been on our radar for a little while. He comes highly recommended and he’ll be a good addition to our squad at this time of the season. We want continuity, but we also want competition for places.
“We’ve lost three of our attacking options we had on loan, so Connor will come in and be an excellent addition to that area of the pitch. He’s had a loan spell at Hyde where he scored eight goals in 15 games and everyone is talking about the lad having a really bright future. Hopefully that can start here.
“We do our research into players and there are a lot of people aware of this young man. He's had a lot of interest and we feel we’ve pipped a few other people to this signing, which is a really good thing."
“When you look at him you immediately notice his height, but he’s certainly got ability on the floor as well," he added. "We need a centre forward who can bring people into play when he’s asked to, but he isn’t just about his size.
"He's a threat because of that, but he has a lot of other attributes, and we’re hoping he can show what he's about in a Carlisle shirt."
Having got this bit of business done ahead of the weekend trip to Northampton, he said: “Although we haven’t got a manager in place, we aren’t going to wait around to sign players if they're available and we can get them.
"As the saying goes 'if you snooze you lose' and there are a lot of people with a lot of knowledge in the game with good things to say about Connor, so I’m delighted we’ve been able to do this deal quickly.
“We’ve been working on targets for a number of weeks now, and we’re working to bring another one in. We’ve also got two other players who we’re working our socks off to try and get back in through the door."
Simpson will wear squad number 19.
This deal remains subject to the clearance of all necessary paperwork.