Benfica tracking young Posh centre-back

Benfica have spoken to Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony about Ricardo Santos. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Benfica have spoken to Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony about Ricardo Santos. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony has revealed that top Portuguese side Benfica have made contact regarding the future of centre-back Ricardo Santos.

Santos was born in Portugal, although he was playing for Thurrock when Posh spotted the potential in the powerfully-built 20-year-old.

Santos has made 27 Posh appearances and blossomed last season when new manager Dave Robertson picked him to play alongside Gaby Zakuani at the heart of the Posh defence.

MacAnthony made the surprising Benfica revelation in a tweet last night (July 14). He said: “Benfica contacted me in June when I was on holiday about him. Some fans don’t see what lots of us do.

“He’s just turned 20 and is a beast!! So so much potential and great character. Bet he scores 5/6 goals plus this season for sure!”

Santos will play in tonight’s (July 15, 7.45pm) Posh friendly at Cliftonville in Belfast. The game was arranged as part of the deal that took prolific striker Joe Gormley from Irish football to Posh.

Midfielder Erhun Oztumer won’t be involved. He was left out of the Ireland trip after his agent requested the 24-year-old be sent out on loan. Posh have not yet agreed to the request.

MacAnthony, again in a tweet, said: “His (Erhun’s) agent called me last week to say he doesn’t want to be a sub so can he go on loan etc to get minutes. No drama. It’s up to lad to let his pre-season do the talking and like others break into the team.”

Midfielder Harry Beautyman is expected to miss tonight’s game because of injury. He could make his first appearance of the season against a Spurs XI at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday (July 18).