Captain Chris Forrester has become Peterborough United’s most wanted man.
The Irish midfielder’s outstanding display in Sunday’s (January 8) FA Cup defeat at Chelsea would have captured the attention of any Premier League or Championship club with money to spend during the January transfer window.
But chairman Darragh MacAnthony and manager Grant McCann are hoping they do not have to cash in on their 24 year-old prize asset just yet.
It’s Posh policy not to stand in the way of a player’s progress as long as the deal is right for the club and Forrester appears to have leap-frogged teenager Leo Da Silva Lopes and winger Marcus Maddison as the most valuable player in the first-team squad.
Posh stand to make a huge profit on Forrester as they paid his former club St Patrick’s Athletic just £20,000 for his services in September 2015. Posh would now demand millions for their star man.
MacAnthony admits Forrester was paid relative ‘peanuts’ when he first arrived at the ABAX Stadium, but an improved four-year contract was duly offered and signed last summer.
MacAnthony spoke to the Irish Independent after the FA Cup game at Stamford Bridge. The full article can be found here: http://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/peterborough-chairman-places-a-lavish-price-tag-on-dubliner-chris-forrester-35352783.html
MacAnthony said: “Chris Forrester is the best midfielder by a mile in League One and plenty of big clubs are after him right now.
“If you saw Chris playing against Scunthorpe earlier this month, you would appreciate what a talent he is.Against a team that was sitting at the top of League One, he basically ran the show from midfield on his own.
“He was that good and I’m sure he would dominate games if he was playing in the Championship as well.
“Chris will go on and be sold for millions and millions, and good luck to him if that happens because he has come to England, worked his socks off and turned himself into a top player.
“We bought him as a number 10, but we turned him into someone who dictates the play in front of the back four. It has been fantastic how he has grown into that role and it has been a joy to watch his development.
“We are talking about a player who is head and shoulders above the rest at the level he is playing at. When I look at what Dele Alli is doing at Tottenham now, it highlights what is possible when top League One players get a chance at the higher level.
“Alli was playing in League One for MK Dons not so long ago and a few clubs showed an interest in him. Now you see him now at the age of 20 and he is the match winner in a top of the table game against Chelsea and that should give all players in League One belief that they are good enough to make that jump up in class.
“What I like about Chris is his honesty and his desire to do well for himself and our team.
“We have seen a lot of greedy little s*** come through the door at Peterborough during my time here and some of the stories I could tell you would just blow your mind.
“What you have with Chris is a guy determined to make the most of his career and that initial deal he signed with us proved as much.
“St Pats will do well out of any move Chris makes because they have a clause in the contract that will give them a cut of the deal.
“My hope is that moment is not imminent as we want him in our midfield as we try to get promotion this season.”
Posh boss Grant McCann rejected suggestions Forrester is being touted to bigger clubs. McCann has praised Forrester after the last two Posh matches without being prompted.
“Obviously I don’t want to lose Chris,” McCann said. “But he is doing a good job of promoting himself by playing so well, so regularly.
“It’s the club’s policy not to stand in anyone’s way if a deal is good for us, but as far as I know that deal hasn’t been offered yet.
“One thing I do know is Chris won’t be affected by the speculation. He is so laid-back I’m surprised he doesn’t fall over more often during matches!”