Jayden Stockley: Preston sign Exeter City striker on three-and-a-half year deal

Jayden Stockley
Jayden Stockley scored 51 times in 2018, more than any other player in England's top four leagues

Preston North End have signed striker Jayden Stockley from League Two side Exeter City for a fee understood to be £750,000.

The 25-year-old, who was the leading scorer in England's top four leagues in 2018, joins the club until 2022.

"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," he said.

"I feel confident and I'm very thankful for the move."

The move comes after several clubs were said to have triggered the release clause in Stockley's contract.

The fee means Exeter have now made over £6m in transfer fees over the past four years, after also selling Ollie Watkins, Matt Grimes, Ethan Ampadu and David Wheeler.

Stockley joins after winger Josh Ginnelly signed for the Championship club on Tuesday, however both are cup-tied for Preston's FA Cup third-round tie against Doncaster Rovers.

"He will certainly give us a different option. He is a good age as well, 25, and he is fully fit," boss Alex Neil said.

"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."

Analysis

BBC Sport's Brent Pilnick

Jayden Stockley is the latest rough diamond to be turned into a sparkling jewel by Exeter City. 

Yes, they paid a club record £100,000 for him from Aberdeen in 2017, but that they have increased that investment more than seven times over in less than 18 months is a credit to a club which has a burgeoning reputation for improving players. 

As well as home-grown stars such as Ollie Watkins and Ethan Ampadu, who have gone on to big things at Brentford and Chelsea respectively, City have also turned decent profits on players such as David Wheeler and Reuben Reid who they signed for free. 

Stockley's move - having been something of a flop north of the border during his season at Aberdeen - will not only help Exeter's bank balance, but the club's reputation within the game that they can improve players and boost their careers.

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