Peterborough United have recalled young striker Matty Stevens from his loan spell at Slough Town and expect him to break into the club’s first team.
Stevens (20) moved to Posh from Barnet in the summer of 2016. He has done well enough in various spells out on loan to persuade Posh to arrange talks on a contract that expires at the end of this season.
Stevens scored 33 goals in 28 games for Kettering Town last season and has bagged 11 goals in 19 appearances for Slough in the National South League this season. He played a big part in Slough’s run in the FA Cup which ended with a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of League One side Gillingham yesterday (December 2).
Stevens won’t be involved in tomorrow’s Checkatrade Trophy tie at Exeter City, but Evans is ready to use him during the busy festive programme. Evans was impressed with Stevens during pre-season and handed him his second Posh appearance - almost two years after his first - as a late substitute in the opening day win over Bristol Rovers at the ABAX Stadium.
“Matty has got the game time he needed at Slough.” Evans said. “The goals were always going to come as that’s his biggest strength.
“We have a hectic period of games coming up in December and early January so undoubtedly he will get his chance.
“Posh signed him a couple of years ago and promptly ignored him. I saw a young man hungry for success who needed to be loved and given a plan. This recall is part of that plan and his reward for delivering the performances at Slough.
“Slough are a good club with excellent young managers and they will get plenty of credit from me for developing his game. Game time for young players is essential and the assurances Slough gave me when they took Matty have been met in full.”
Director of football Barry Fry has confirmed rival clubs have been showing interest in Stevens, but he insists the Posh priority is to extend his current deal. Stevens’ loan at Slough was due to expire in January.
“We were going to bring Matty back earlier,” Fry said. “But we waited until Slough were knocked out of the FA Cup.
“Matty’s contract with us expires at the end of the season, but Steve Evans is a big fan who wants to keep him.
“There has been interest in Matty, but nothing definite. Our priority is to keep him here.
“He had an excellent goalscoring record last season and he’s been doing well again at a higher level this season.”
Fry also confirmed that the three players on loan at Posh - Jamie Walker, Jason Cummings and Tyler Denton - all have clauses in their deals which enables their parent club recalling them in January. Posh could also choose to send them back.