Well I’m gobsmacked.
The genius of Peterborough United transfer guru Barry Fry can never now be doubted. The man could sell sand to the Arabs or donkeys to Northampton Town FC.
A million quid (at least) for a 19 year-old midfielder whose ability was recognised by his chairman and the very successful boss of Wigan, but not by that many Posh fans, is great business, the highlight of what has been one of the most hectic starts to a summer I can remember in over 25 years reporting on my favourite club.
The excitement a few signings generate always amuses me though, but then I can remember greeting the arrivals of Mick Lambert and Bill Green with great expectation back in the day and what a pair of Posh duds they were.
Multiple arrivals guarantee nothing. For every nugget there is often a Nabi and for every gem there’s a Luke James, a player who cost Posh £500k, or £250k a goal. Many Posh fans were immediate experts on latest signings like Rhys Bennett, Aaron Chapman and Matty Godden even though they won’t have seen them play other than on a computer game.
I am no more than cautiously optimistic about next season, but I am impressed with the speed with which the squad is being put together and the fact players are arriving who won’t be ones chairman Darragh MacAnthony would necessarily want, which nails one particular Posh myth. I’m also happy that a move to sign a hefty Colchester striker with more cards to his name than goals last season didn’t get very far.
Some fans might not want Steve Evans as manager, but he’s here now and deserves the same support from the fans as he’s clearly getting from his chairman.
Evans will need his team to hit the ground running, especially if they play a primitive style of football, or the atmosphere will become toxic at the ABAX very quickly. Getting his squad together before the start of pre-season training gives him the best chance of achieving just that.
I am unperturbed about the ages of the newbies (I would have kept Steven Taylor and Anthony Grant), or how big they are (Ken Charlery was tall). I’m also unconcerned that most have arrived from a lower standard of football, namely League Two and the Scottish Premier League.
I wasn’t thrilled that Posh spent £450,000 on a Luton Town reserve last summer which shows what I know as does the fact I would have released Da Silva Lopes last month and promptly cost my club £1 million or so.
I am confident Wigan boss Paul Cook is a better judge of a footballer than me and I hope that proves to be the case as I love the Da Silva Lopes story.
The 19 year-old only moved to England seven years ago and five years ago he was playing for Powerleague Under 14s in the Peterborough & District Junior Alliance League. Now he’s beaten Marcus Maddison and Jack Marriott into the Championship.