Peterborough United are a side on a mission to head up to the Championship, and are going to have to do it the hard way now that free-scoring Jack Marriott has had gone to Derby County.
However, they way that the London Road outfit have set off in their League One campaign, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is business as usual for the Posh. Two games, two wins, six goals – it’s as if the Marriott goals don’t matter.
Three of these goals have come from Scottish central midfielder Mark O’Hara, who joined the club this year from Dundee. Another new player, with two of Posh’s goals, is Matt Godden who also joined this season – signing on from Stevenage for an undisclosed fee.
Whilst it will be hoped that Godden, who scored 35 goals and provided 11 assists for Stevenage in 88 games, will replace Marriott as Peterborough’s chief goal getter, the purchase of O’Hara may prove to be just as important.
Alongside Marriott, indeed across the season before the free-scoring former Luton Town striker arrived, Marcus Maddison was lighting up London Road with his dual-threat performances. Released by boyhood club Newcastle United in January 2013, Maddison found his way to Peterborough United when a near £300,000 bought him from National League side Gateshead FC.
Since signing for Peterborough, and across three seasons, Maddison has featured in 177 games for the club, scoring 42 goals and providing 61 assists. 35 of these goals, and 54 of these assists, have come in League one games – marking out Marcus Maddison as lethal in two very important areas of the game.
Last season he showed continued great form, scoring eight goals and providing 18 assists in just 41 League One games – a further four goals and five assists coming in cup competitions. It is this very form that some have said has marked Maddison out for bigger and better things.
That seems to be the case, the attacking midfielder having not gone on the club’s pre-season acclimatisation and tour of Portugal has not featured in Posh’s opening two games of the campaign. Now that in itself is a little strange, considering the impact he’s had at the club since his arrival, or is strange the wrong word to use?
Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony has already gone on record and quite clearly said that there’s interest in Maddison. Speaking in late July, MacAnthony said: “Basically two clubs have come in on the release clause [£2.5million], what they haven’t met is the staged payments. They wanted t opay over four years. I’m OK with clubs doing deals and paying over a year or two, we buy players like that. But four years for such a cheap release clause, I just felt no.”
That was late July, this is approaching mid-August. The transfer window from summer has closed shut and firmly so, but the loan window remains ajar until the end of this month. That means clubs wanting to angle for a move for Marcus Maddison have a little over two weeks to get something sorted.
At the moment Maddison is not featuring, and I said that it was ‘strange’, before stopping myself. It’s not strange, it’s actually sensible. It’s as it there is someone waiting in the wings, ready to snap him up on loan. With a player of Maddison’s undoubted quality, surely the smart money has to be on a short-term loan until January where a permanent deal can then be made. Especially as clubs know exactly what it will cost them to buy the Peterborough assist machine.