League One outfit Peterborough United have announced the signing of Chelsea youngster Zak Sturge on a season-long loan, adding depth to the Posh backline before the transfer window closes on Friday night.
Sturge developed as a youth player with Brighton and Hove Albion on the South Coast but declined a contract extension with the Seagulls last summer, joining the two-time European champions on a free.
The versatile fullback, capable of playing in the heart of defence, featured 24 times for the Blues last term, including in a 4-2 away win at the Weston Homes Stadium in the EFL Trophy back in November.
Now, the 19-year-old will join Darren Ferguson’s side for the remainder of the campaign and could make his debut against Portsmouth this weekend in England’s third tier, according to Chelsea’s official website.
Speaking to club media, Ferguson offered insight into what Sturge can bring to the team:
“He is athletic, quick and anyone who watched the game last season between Posh and Chelsea would have seen the quality he brings.
“He can play left back, left-wing back and a left-sided centre back in a three and fits into what I am wanting to do in terms of different formations, he has that flexibility.
“He is a lovely lad, and he adds real pace to that side of the pitch so he is a signing that really excites me and I am looking forward to working with him.”
At his announcement as a Peterborough United player, Sturge revealed why it is a great move for him:
“I have done my research on the club; I know that their philosophy is what I am used to, and I feel it is the right club for me.
“I feel it is also the right time for me to come and play men’s football. The manager has a brilliant record of working with young players and that was another real appeal.”
This will be Sturge’s first taste of playing men’s football on a consistent basis – his only other experience being in the EFL Trophy against the likes of the Posh.
Being able to play a number of different positions will ensure that he receives plenty of minutes under Ferguson during the rest of the season.