Sammie Szmodics proved to be the cherry on the cake signing as the gaffer admitted his squad is ‘100% there’
It’s now officially been over six months since Peterborough United last played a league fixture in the most bizarre of seasons in our lifetimes, but one thing hasn’t changed – Sammie Szmodics is a Posh player.
Not too many loan signings in the Darragh MacAnthony era have captured the imagination quite like Szmodics, who has been the subject of mass transfer speculation amongst not only Posh fans, but Sunderland and Portsmouth fans as well.
The then loanee impressed during 10 League One appearances, scoring four goals, before the season was postponed and later canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The former Bristol City man’s efforts both on and off the pitch had not been forgotten.
Szmodics’ return on a permanent basis may be the biggest talking point amongst Posh fans where transfers are concerned, but it can’t be forgotten that Jonson Clarke-Harris arrived for a fee believed to be around £1.25 million earlier in the window as a replacement for last season’s League One top scorer, Ivan Toney.
Peterborough United welcome back Sammie Szmodics on a permanent basis. See video below.
Those two additions, on top of the arrivals of Daniel Gyollai, Ronnie Edwards, Ryan Broom, Ethan Hamilton and Reece Brown – the latter on loan from Huddersfield Town – have proven, once again, the co-owners are ambitious and doing everything they can to back their manager in a fight for Championship football.
That, in turn, now leaves it down to Ferguson to ensure the players play to their potential on a consistent basis and avoid a demise over Christmas which, ultimately, proved costly last campaign.
Events that unfolded, involving Wycombe Wanderers, will be mentioned no more and the focus will solely be on proving exactly why the club and a large proportion of Posh’s supporters believe we would have been promoted automatically last season under normal circumstances.
Our Golden Boot-winning striker may no longer be with us, but retain the services of Golden Glove winner, Christy Pym. He’ll be backed up by the experience of Mark Beevers and Nathan Thompson in defence and the attacking threat on the left side from Dan Butler.
Need we say any more about what highly-rated Ryan Broom and last season’s loan star, Szmodics, will offer a midfield that already possesses another fine young talent in Jack Taylor and the return of loanee, Reece Brown, who also made an impression whilst at London Road last campaign.
Posh’s decision to let club legend George Boyd find a new side, along with Louis Reed – who showed his quality in the 3-3 EFL Trophy draw against Burton Albion on Tuesday night – highlights the team’s strength in midfield, without even mentioning Joe Ward who can be expected to be a key asset again this season.
That leaves Siriki Dembele, who’s been catching potential suitors’ eyes according to media reports, to move forward and provide a striker partnership with either Clarke-Harris or Mo Eisa.
Eisa, who scored 14 league goals last campaign, went somewhat under the radar alongside Toney last season when in most other sides he’d have been grabbing headlines. That speaks wonders of our forward line that will also have competition in the form of highly-rated Ricky-Jade Jones and Idris Kanu.
Finances have blighted football clubs globally, from top to bottom, but that’s been particularly evident in Leagues One and Two where gate receipts are the vital component of clubs’ revenue streams. But despite the madness of a global pandemic, Posh’s shrewd transfer dealings has allowed the club to invest heavily once again.
Szmodics and Clarke-Harris, alone, take that total to over £2 million this summer – aided largely by Toney’s departure – but have yet to reduce costs bill by getting the likes of Boyd, Reed and Jason Naismith off the wage bill.
One rival fan comically referred to Peterborough “buying the league again”, but while that may be somewhat an exaggeration, it reinforces the fact that Ferguson can have no excuses for getting the job done this time around – barring another global pandemic!