Transfer Verdict: Loans Galore But no Striker in the Building

With a whole host of signings through the door in the summer, it wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary for a quieter, more subdued approach in the month of January. However, as now-ex-Posh gaffer Steve Evans is notorious for bending the expenditure of a football club, Big Steve bought in an additional 4 players to help out on loan. With Darren Ferguson back at the helm, an extra face too was added to the original 4 already signed prior to Deadline Day. Away from incomings, Posh also had a number of outgoings – 4 signings in the summer left which shows Evans’ poor player recruitment, alongside two other departures. Have Posh added enough to their arsenal? Or, with the striker position having a glaring vacancy, is it a missed opportunity?

OUTGOINGS

1.     Colin Daniel (To Burton)
Talked up by Big Steve as one of the best left backs in League 2, Colin Daniel did show some promise in the early stages of the season (but, at the time, everyone was performing as Posh were on cloud nine). Colin had become a scapegoat for Posh’ recent misery; he did lose some of his confidence that saw him, from my memory, nearly strike a sweet shot into the net at Charlton after a slaloming run all the way back in August. But, with countless errors, a lack of pace and a general lack of a football brain at times with mistimed passes, Colin Daniel was rightfully dropped by Evans and couldn’t quite cement a place back into the squad when Tyler Denton performed way above the former Blackpool man. And with Posh signing a left back in January (more to come later…) Colin Daniel’s days at Peterborough United were numbered. Snapped up by Burton, Colin Daniel won’t necessarily be missed, but as he was purchased on a free transfer, at least Posh haven’t lost a substantial amount of money on Daniel.  

2.     Jermaine Anderson (To Bradford)
I’d almost forgotten about Jermaine’s presence at Posh until it was confirmed he was leaving for Bradford. Injuries not exactly helping Jermaine nor the whole multitude of midfielders at Posh’ disposal. Thrown into the same bracket as Da-Silva Lopes – both hyped up as exciting youth products, Jermaine did show glimpses of promise that matched Darragh’s bloated appraisal. Under Graham Westley, Jermaine Anderson performed to his optimum (Crewe away in a 5-1 win is a vivid recollection of Jermaine at his best – back to when he was free-scoring and injury free). Two serious injuries practically killed off Jermaine’s chances at Posh, which is a shame, but I do also remember Jermaine refusing to sign new contracts and putting in extremely poor performances. I do wish Jermaine the best, but it’s a case of Jermaine’s talent never truly recapturing its heights. 

3.     Mark O’Hara (On Loan to Lincoln)
Much like Colin Daniel, Mark was a man who performed way back in August – his tenacity was key in wins away at Rochdale where he battled to score a header, and retrieved the ball off a Dale defender to score a breakaway goal. But, with the months trudging on and Mark looking more like a headless chicken in the centre of the park, it was no surprise that Big Steve – when he was still in charge – got rid of him. If people are hyper-critical about Alex Woodyard, they should be hitting their heads against the wall about O’Hara as, not only did his form dive off a cliff, he offered absolutely nothing for Posh when the form subsided. At least Woodyard is successful when he marshals the ball. O’Hara looked a pale imitation of his former self. Off to promotion-chasing Lincoln in League 2, Mark might’ve found his level.

MARK O'HARA | THEYELLOWBLOCK.NET

4.     Idris Kanu (On loan to Boreham Wood)
Another player shipped off out on loan. The curious case of Idris Kanu is still one that befuddles me to this day – does anyone else remember when he was brought in on deadline day under McCann, like he was going to make a worthy contribution to Posh squads to come? 18 appearances and 0 goals wasn’t exactly the contribution in mind, but he was 17 years of age when purchased with a goal tally of 3 in 29 for National League Aldershot prior.

He has impressed since going out on loan to Boreham Wood, 2 goals in 2 appearances for Idris in the league he was plucked from originally. So, it seems overly harsh to lambast Idris considering he was bought with youth in mind. But, with nothing to show for in a Posh shirt, it still seems to be an odd buy with two years been and gone. And, there’s only so long you can hold onto the label of being a starlet (just ask the aforementioned Anderson).

5 and 6. Jamie Walker and Jason Cummings (Both recalled to Parent Clubs)
The final two outgoings elude to Evans’ poor recruitment, as both original loanees went back to their parent clubs after largely unsuccessful loan stints. Jamie Walker, out of the two, was definitely the more unsuccessful one purely for the fact he never really got going in a Posh shirt, nor was he ever really afforded much time to mould into the Posh eleven. In a side severely lacking a central attacking midfielder, before the arrival of a familiar face, Jamie could’ve been the missing link, but he never was and thus his recall by Wigan wasn’t a shock.

Jason Cummings, where do I even begin? In August, I thought this man was the bee’s knees – the Scotsman had the Midas touch, everything he did was sublime and sumptuous. But, with highs as tremendous as Jason’s, the lows were chaotic – a video of himself smashing up his own apartment off his face began the downward spiral for Cummings. Only ever used off the bench and in the Checkatrade Trophy after, his effectiveness was never as strong as it once was. Obvious attitude problems, a lack of goals being scored and a man who seemed more focus on generating laughs via Instagram and being a clown online, Cummings’ overall time at Posh leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Which, in tandem, makes it ever more shocking that Luton have gambled on his services. Should Posh have stuck by Jason, especially with the lack of options up top? Possibly, but when a player lacks professionalism and doesn’t have the talent to make it less alarming, he should be let go of.

INCOMINGS

7. Kyle Dempsey (on loan from Fleetwood)
With Posh letting a few players go out on loan in January, they also added to their now depleted squad with a number of loans themselves – not one addition in January was signed on a permanent basis. Kyle Dempsey, who might be seen as a loan with a view to a permanent move in the summer, arrives with plaudits from Fleetwood – only let go of by the Cod Army due to a falling out with the ever-fiery Joey Barton. Dempsey impressed me when he made his debut against Rochdale in the league, giving Posh an attacking presence with pace but also a keen eye to play forwards instead of cautiously holding onto possession. He has faded away recently – his performance away at league leaders Luton saw him subbed off at the interval – but Dempsey certainly provides more than Mark O’Hara and others used in central midfield.

8. Daniel Lafferty (on loan from Sheffield United)

To plug the gap left by Colin Daniel, Lafferty was drafted in loan from The Blades – the full-back from Sheffield United came to Posh with a wealth of experience, playing for Burnley alongside starring for Chris Wilder’s Championship side. Only let go of due to Enda Stevens’ blistering form, Lafferty has been a worthwhile addition to Posh, but it wasn’t exactly difficult to perform when your predecessor was remarkably average. Lafferty has added an expansive dimension to Posh’ play down the wings. Lafferty is definitely more of an attacking force down the flanks which can leave Posh rather exposed (especially with Dembele’s lack of tracking back). But, after Colin Daniel’s turbulent 6-month spell, Lafferty is certainly an improvement.

LAFFERTY | THEYELLOWBLOCK.NET

9. Lee Tomlin (on loan from Cardiff)
The biggest transfer to come out of Posh this January was of course, the return of Lee Tomlin on loan from Cardiff City. Citing his relationship with Darragh MacAnthony as a major help in tough times, and wanting to reignite his love of football, this certainly doesn’t seem like a cash-motivated move for Lee. He also has performed since returning, there’s always a worry that when a club legend comes back, his performances a second time can never eclipse his first spell. Scoring against at Rochdale was enough to prove his worth, alongside his clever assist a matter of days ago away at Bristol Rovers in Fergie’s first game back at Posh. In my opinion, although he has delivered, in games against higher level teams such as Charlton and Luton, his impact is lost – therefore, I think Lee should be used sparingly in order to enhance his effectiveness instead of burning out a man not used to regular football from his topsy-turvy career path.

10 and 11. Ben White and Josh Knight (both on loan from Premier League clubs, Brighton + Leicester)
I put these two together as they are very much of the same mould (both centre backs), both come in on loan from Premier League clubs, both are highly coveted youth prospects and also Ben and Josh have featured in the Checkatrade Trophy this season. I can’t really comment on Josh, but by Leicester fans alone, he sounds like one highly thought of by The Foxes – his recent award of Player of the Month for his age bracket signifies his potential and his worth to Posh as a centre back option. I can, however give a glowing report of Ben White thus far – White’s performance against Charlton in a 0-0 draw was outstanding, remarkable for a kid used to U21’s football but he showed the confidence of a seasoned professional on the London Road turf. It was ever more impressive considering he was filling in for a suspended Ryan Tafazolli, but Taff’s absence wasn’t felt. Both of these young defenders provide Posh with a lot of cover at the back, shame Fergie didn’t do the same regarding his strikers with only 3 attackers available to him!

By Kelan Sarson – MyPoshSeason