Earlier today a second-half tidal wave of goals at The Riverside drowned Peterborough United, the five goal deluge washing away their hopes of FA Cup progression.
Goals from Brett Assombalonga (47′, 70′), George Friend (50′), Lewis Wing (62′) and Ashley Fletcher (87′) were more than enough to send Steve Evans’ men back empty-handed and dumped unceremoniously out of the FA Cup.
It was a humbling result, and one that will be felt as deeply by Posh fans as it will be celebrated by Boro fans. Big defeats are, by their very nature, hard to take.
One man missing from the heavy loss was Peterborough star Marcus Maddison. His absence was enforced in that he was under a suspension for the tie against Middlesbrough. Yet, even if he had have been available, there is noise that he could be on his way out of London Road.
Last week, the midfield maestro put this on the following on his Instagram account:
View this post on Instagram
Just the words “Some big news pending…watch this space” was enough to get fans of interested teams licking their lips in anticipation.
Summer 2018 interest came from multiple Championship sides including Leeds United, Derby County, Blackburn Rovers, West Brom, Aston Villa and Reading. However, a move failed to materialize and Maddison seemed destined to stay at London Road for another season.
The listed clubs were just a few of many clubs that were believed to be interested in Maddison throughout the summer, such is the cachet that Maddison’s performances and output carry. However, Maddison’s cryptically teasing Instagram post does raise certain interesting questions and possibilities.
What is known is that Maddison was suspended for today’s hammering at the hands of Middlesbrough, granted. But was that suspension a mere sticking plaster covering the former Newcastle United youngster’s time at the Cambridgeshire outfit? What I mean by that is the following: if he had have been available would he have played and risk being cup-tied.
Of course, there is no certainty that the ‘big news pending’ means that he’s packing his bags and heading to one of his many suitors this month. However, there is always that possibility that were he available, he’d still have been missing from the Middlesbrough tie.
His output in the Peterborough side makes him a machine, yes – a machine. This season he has one goal and eight assists in League One. Over all competitions this season he has two goals and an astonishing FOURTEEN assists.
This isn’t a flash-in-the-pan performance either. Last season he scored eight League One goals and EIGHTEEN assists; in all competitions this rose to 12 goals and TWENTY-THREE assists. The season before, the 2016/17 League One campaign told a similar story – nine League One goals and SEVENTEEN assists.
2015/16 was again similar with Maddison hitting 10 League One goals and FIFTEEN assists. In fact, even his least productive League One season of recent years, 2014/15 still brought eight goals and four assists.
Tally all that up and in just four-and-a-half seasons Maddison has scored 36 League one goals and an astonishing SIXTY-TWO assists. When put in terms of what he’s capable of, you can see why all these sides are interested in Marcus Maddison.
You can also see why it was convenience that he was suspended today versus Middlesbrough.