Didier Drogba and Peter Crouch are just some of the names that very nearly signed for a certain Championship club according to reports.
Under manager David Moyes, Preston North End remarkably came very close to announcing the signing of the former Premier League duo.
The Scot, currently impressing and potentially taking West Ham into Europe, spent four years as the Lilywhites boss, taking charge of 234 matches between 1998 and 2002 – having played over 140 games for the club as a player.
He took them to two play-off finals and one title-winning season, with Preston having won 113 matches under his time at the club.
Moyes brought in some incredible players, including the likes of Graham Alexander and David Healy who at the time were thriving.
Reports have emerged claiming that Drogba could have been part of Moyes’ time at Deepdale, instead playing for French outfit Le Mans in Division 2.
The Ivorian went on to play his part in Ligue 1 around the time that Moyes was then appointed as the new manager of Everton (2002).
They then came face to face with each other two seasons later when Chelsea brought the Marseille striker in, before he then scored over 150 goals in the Premier League.
Stetford Paddock’s Jay Motty spoke recently on how he very nearly was a Preston player and within an inch of signing him.
He told the podcast: “I used to cover Lancashire and Preston when I was a reporter and there was this story going around. They’d had an injury up front and were short of strikers.
Interesting. 👀 pic.twitter.com/1M1jh9iVNg
— North End Report (@northendreport) February 25, 2021
“He got one of his scouts and he said ‘there’s a young lad in France I want you to go and look at, you might have to go and look at him.’
“And the scout was waiting like ‘yeah I’m ready to go, let me know.’ It transpired that one of the strikers had passed the fitness test so they didn’t bother.
“So he said ‘which player was it?’ and he was like ‘it’s this lad called Drogba…’
“Drogba, if you remember him, he didn’t start at the very top he was lower league in France and apparently he was on Preston’s radar.
“And Moyes was up for getting him; I don’t know who it (the other striker) would’ve been at the time.”
After seeing the clip online, a supporter then quizzed Peter Crouch whether he too came close to joining the Lancashire based club.
The player turned pundit replied: ‘Spoke to Moyes on the phone.
‘Leaving QPR, Preston, Burnley and Portsmouth were my options and I ended up at Pompey.’
Spoke to Moyes on the phone.
Preston, burnley and Portsmouth were my options and I ended up at Pompey
— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) February 25, 2021
Fans reacted after seeing that Didier Drogba and Peter Crouch almost signed for Championship club Preston, see what they said…
@Kris_2001: Still not to late to dust of the old boots Peter
@stocksy123: I’d have you now over our current pne strikers
@oreetcharver1: The robot celebration at Deepdale if only…….
@dawsie93: Gutted to find out we missed out on a dream partnership of Drogba and @petercrouch deffo would have been #backstronger and maybe get to the Prem! #pnefc
@LukeyWilson94: One of the most gutting things ever 😪 one of my favourite players too!! #pnefc
@PNEhomeandaway: Imagine crouch and Dider drogba up top 🔥😂 #pnefc
@PNEste25: Typical Moyes that at the time lol ppl called him dithering Dave. I also heard a rumour we had Diago Forlan on trial when he was a youngster but Moyes didn’t rate him (I’m not sure how true that is tho lol)
@adamjohnkirk: This doesn’t make me nauseous or anything
@ftblSeani: How have we managed to miss out on Drogba, Vardy and Ivan Toney ffs
@joesmith2610: Sounds right for all the players Moyes had an eye on at his time at North End.. Drogba.. Forlan trial.. There’ll be a list somewhere of world players that North End were ‘interested in’ that became world beaters
@Conpne03: Can add that to the list of insane players we could’ve had
@grogan6: Hahahah imagine big Drogs are Deepdale. Deepdale Drog
@pnefctucker: David Moyes had a mare…
@alexworden95: Interested in Drogba. Ended up with Cresswell instead. Proper North End that
@Tommytenshits: Didn’t you end up scoring your last professional goal against us as well? @petercrouch