Mark O’Hara, the Scottish midfielder who has spent the last four months on loan at Lincoln, has been transfer listed by Peterborough United this afternoon.
The move isn’t entirely a shock, it’s widely believed there’s a clause in the deal that gives us an option of signing him, but that same sort of clause found its way into Lee Angol’s contract two years ago. That didn’t pan out well.
The Peterborough Telegraph report that not only has O’Hara been told he can leave, but also that we’re interested in signing him. It’s fairly common knowledge of course, but now we’re left in the hands of Posh. There will doubtless be some negotiation and of course, they’ll want the best they can get for their player.
I really like O’Hara, he’s a big lad who can add value in both boxes as well as in the midfield where he has a tenacious approach. Whether we’re likely to truly break the bank will be interesting to see, after all we do already have Ellis Chapman, Lee Frecklington and Tom Pett contracted to the club. Add into the mix Michael O’Connor and you’re beginning to get a squad full of central midfielders.
Three other names on the list interest me as well. The first is Matt Stevens, a former Barnet striker who they signed as one of their project pieces a while ago. You know the Posh way; sign a player and see if he develops. If he does, flog him on. If not, get rid. well, Darren Ferguson is getting rid.
I understand if we’re working on a tight budget and small squad, there may not be room for a player who we can develop, but Stevens is one I really like. He’s tough, a former boxer with a really rugged attitude, but he’s not a big lad either. I quite like the idea of having the bullish player through the middle, a Harry Anderson type but more suited to a striker’s role.
Could Stevens hang off John Akinde? I think so, he could certainly learn from him but I wonder if his lack of League One experience might hamper any possible move to us. I do confidently predict that if he’s snapped up by Stevenage, Colchester, Mansfield or any of the other teams likely to be in League Two next year, he’ll be a success.
The other name I liked the look of is Isaac Buckley-Ricketts. Like us, Posh have favoured wide players such as Joe Ward, Siriki Dembele and Marcus Maddison and they signed Buckley-Ricketts to continue that legacy. It hasn’t worked for him, but there’s enough there to work with for us to be interested.
I firmly believe we’ll bring a wide player in, whether it’s on loan or permanently. I could see Kellan Gordon being one we might like, he showed promise, but in Buckley-Ricketts we’d be stepping up. He’s a former Manchester City youngster who has been on loan with FC Twente in Holland as well as Oxford United. He’s got England honours too, up to Under 20 level, and was part of the team that won the Under 17 European Championship in 2017.
His reputation suggests he’d be a big signing, but his experience points to a gamble
I could see him coming in and being a success, although he didn’t get a look in at Posh. His reputation suggests he’d be a big signing, but his experience points to a gamble.
The final player who might be of interest is Callum Cooke, although he is another who has been listed and not released. He’s an attacking midfielder in the Shay McCartan mould with ten starts to his name this season. He’s a former Middlesbrough youth who enjoyed spells with Blackpool and Crewe. He played 30 League One matches for Blackpool, so ticks the experience box as well as the availability box.
However, I can’t see us spending money and several players and Danny is a keen admirer of O’Hara, so mentioning the other three is something based purely on availability as opposed to solid reasoning.
Cause they are a good club, good manager to deal with and we both pay well for players etc and don't mess about. Simples really. https://t.co/A52rLHNwt9
— Darragh MacAnthony (@DMAC102) May 6, 2019
Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony has confirmed it’s likely that the two clubs will do business this summer, as we’re a ‘good club’ who ‘pay well for players and don’t mess about.’