Ex-Files: David Nugent
Nugent joined Preston from nearby Bury, who signed the Huyton born striker after he was released from Liverpool. Nugent made his debut for Bury at the tender age of just 16 when he came on as a late substitute for Paul Reid in the 1-1 draw with Port Vale. His first goal came the following season when he pulled one back with just two minutes to go in Bury's fixture with Darlington at Gigg Lane in October 2003. Since that day, Nugent went on to score 20 goals in the 71 league and cup appearances he made for Bury before he moved to Preston.
The January 2005 transfer window saw the relatively unknown David Nugent move to Preston after rejecting moves to Burnley and Northampton Town for a fee of £100,000 - a fee that seems like somewhat of a bargain, especially when you take the impact he had on the Preston team into consideration.
Nugent's Preston debut came on the 15th January 2005 when he came on as a substitute for Patrick Agyemang in the 1-1 draw with Leicester City. It did not take Nugent that long to gethis first goal for the club which fell a month later. Again, after coming on a substitute, Nugent got his first goal for his new club when he came on against QPR. With the score at 1-0 to QPR, Nugent's equaliser could not have come at a better time and seemed to give Preston a lifeline as just 8 minutes later, skipper Chris Lucketti got the winner.
Nugent's form caught the eye of many Premiership teams and there seemed to be constant speculation every transfer window with regards to his future. Following the 2006/07 season when Preston failed to make the play-offs under Paul Simpson, Nugent deemed it the right time for him to move on and with Premiership clubs seemingly queuing up for his signature he couldn't have picked a better time. During his tenure at Deepdale, Nugent played 106 times for the Lilywhites, netting 37 goals and became the first player since Tom Finney to play for Preston and represent England when he came on a substitute in Barcelona against Andorra.
The south coast and Fratton Park was Nugent's next destination with Harry Redknapp eagerly awaiting his signature. £6,000,000 move to Portsmouth was a record transfer fee received from Preston and proved to be a very lucrative deal, seeing as though he only cost £100,000 just 2 and a half years prior.
Since his move to Portsmouth, Nugent has found it hard to break his way into the Pompey side. His only goal so far came in the FA Cup against Championship outfit Ipswich Town, who ironically enough have made an offer for his services this summer to which Nugent has rejected - citing that he is willing to fight for his place in the team. With the likes of Kanu, Defoe and Crouch ahead of the former Lilywhite, it will prove to be a tall order for Nugent if does find himself back in the Portsmouth side, who look like they want to cash in.