An in-depth look at Jorge Grant, a new star who has Peterborough United’s fans counting down the days until August
Posh made their first signal of intent in the transfer market on Tuesday (June 29) when they announced the signing of Jorge Grant.
Fans have certainly been enthused by the signing of one of the stars of last season’s campaign when Grant helped Lincoln City to the League One play-off final.
The club also regard the capture of the 26-year-old as a coup after beating off several Championship rivals to land their man.
Posh director of football Barry Fry said: “We had to work hard for a month to get it over the line. Eight Championship clubs were after him so we are delighted. He’s a proper footballer who will suit the way we play.”
Posh were able to secure the deal because of a release clause in Grant’s contract that was able to be activated by Championship clubs. Sources believe the fee to be no more than £500k. Grant has signed a three-year deal at the Weston Homes Stadium.
Grant had an outstanding season for Lincoln last campaign, leading both the goalscoring and assist charts in the league (13 goals and 9 assists) for ‘The Imps’.
That gave him the most goal involvements in League One, one ahead of Sammie Szmodics (16 goals and six assists).
His heroics saw the Imps mount an unlikely promotion push and he was rewarded with the club’s Player’ Player of the Season and Fans’ Player of the Season awards as well as a place in the PFA League One Team of the Year.
Grant was in the thick of the action in both games against Posh. In the 1-1 draw at Sincil Bank in January, he fired what could have been a winning spot-kick well wide after Thompson was sent off for a handball. He fared better in the return match, converting from the spot after Thompson hauled down Morgan Rogers in the first half.
What kind of player is he?
Grant has earned a reputation as a set-piece specialist. He showed his free-kick prowess against Posh on New Year’s Day in 2020 when his curling effort from 20 yards stole all three points for the Imps.
He was the designated penalty taker and thanks to the team’s (mostly Brennan Johnson) perceived theatrics he had plenty of practice. He scored 10 times from the spot but missed four times, a league high.
Jonson Clarke-Harris sits second on that list with three misses, but seven successful spot kicks. One of the important decisions straight away for Darren Ferguson will be sorting out who he has the responsibility of taking penalties.
As noted by Mark Whiley of the Lincolnshire Echo, Grant is also a player known for his vision and passing as well as his eye for goal.
He isn’t afraid of a midfield battle either, which will come in handy for Posh in the Championship, as he focused a lot on strength work in the first lockdown.
His form did dip after returning from an ankle injury that kept him out for the best part of two months between February and March but should now have had time to shake it off fully.
His versatility is also a plus for Posh who can deploy him either in central midfield or on the left. A likely starting position seems to be alongside Jack Taylor in the position vacated by Reece Brown, who the club has said will not be returning.
They said what?
Darragh MacAnthony was clearly delighted with the signing. In his Instagram message, he praised Grant’s ability and leadership and revealed that he has been a long term target for the club.
He said: “Jorge was born in the Championship, he is one hell of an EFL player, a great addition to our midfield ranks and very diverse in the positions he can play.
“He’s a good age, has plenty of EFL experience, is a very talented player and was a leader at Lincoln. He’s going to be great in our dressing room.
“He is another one of those players who was at the top of our list to sign in the summer. There were a lot of clubs in for him so it has taken a bit of time, but we got there in the end.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do, I remember chasing this boy at Forest when he was young.”
Career so far
Grant started his career at Nottingham Forest, who are thought to have received a substantial part of Lincoln’s fee as part of an agreed sell-on clause.
He appeared just 20 times in his five years at the club but made his name in the city with two loan spells at Notts County, the second of which, in the 2017/18 season, he scored 15 goals in 45 League Two games.
He then enjoyed two more loan spells at Luton and Mansfield before Lincoln signed him for an undisclosed fee and helped him achieve his best season by far in the last campaign.
He has 181 Football League appearances to his name, but just 17 of those are in the Championship, so although he is an exciting signing, he still does not fill the criteria of experienced Championship player that Posh have said they are keen to target.