Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has openly praised want-away striker Jonson Clarke-Harris who returned to the Posh line-up for his side’s EFL Trophy win against Cambridge United, in comments given to the Peterborough Telegraph.
Transfer-listed Clarke-Harris was subject to a deadline day tussle for his services, with Bristol Rovers expecting to land his signature as the clock ticked down.
However, at the last second, the move fell through leaving Clarke-Harris at Posh until at least January.
Even in spite of the dramatic set of circumstances, the 29-year-old striker has remained professional throughout the transfer saga and featured for his employers yesterday evening.
Clarke-Harris’ Importance To Posh
It’s not an understatement to say that Jonson Clarke-Harris has been integral to his club over the last couple of seasons, managing 76 goals for Posh over the course of 153 matches played.
31 of those goals came during the 2020-21 season, a campaign that saw Darren Ferguson’s men promoted to the Championship automatically.
Despite being transfer listed in the summer – a policy in place at the Cambridgeshire club to transfer list every player entering into their final year of their contract – Clarke-Harris has performed in flashes this season – scoring two goals so far versus Derby County and Barnsley.
This has come despite the lethal striker actively looking for moves away from Posh, his ex club in Bristol Rovers his preferred destination.
Now, however, the 29-year-old will have to remain professional and fire in even more goals for his current employers with a move away called off abruptly.
New Striker Arrivals
To further complicate the situation, Posh were able to add two new strikers on deadline day – transfer deals that might well have been completed with Clarke-Harris expected to leave.
Still, Darren Ferguson’s team arguably needed striker reinforcements with or without Clarke-Harris present.
Kabongo Tshimanga – who continued to fire blanks in a Posh shirt – was loaned out to Fleetwood Town in this transfer window just gone, leaving the likes of Ricky-Jade Jones and Kai Corbett as the other attacking options with Ephron Mason-Clark also now being utilised in a striker role on occasion.
Therefore, new striker arrivals in the form of Jacob Wakeling and Malik Mothersille will add much-needed firepower to attack with Clarke-Harris sticking it out an additional bonus.
What’s Been Said?
Speaking after Posh’s convincing 2-0 win over rivals Cambridge United in the EFL Trophy, Darren Ferguson spoke positively about the Jonson Clarke-Harris drama with his star striker unfazed by it all and ready to give his all again for Posh.
He said: “Jonno’s (Clarke-Harris) come back and been outstanding; really, really good. He’s trained really well and looked sharp tonight.
They all did, there was a freshness in the whole team which I was pleased about.
He’s just got on with it, no problems at all.”
Ferguson further opened up about his team selection, neither Wakeling or Mothersille selected with Posh fan favourite Ephron Mason-Clark remaining in the lineup up top.
He said: “I wanted to have a look at Ephron and Jonno up front so we’ve got to see that tonight.
It’s good that Ephron got a goal, I was really pleased for him. There was certain things I wanted to see and certain things I want to see us improve on.”
Transfer sagas such as the one that’s unfolded with Jonson Clarke-Harris are always a distraction, an unwelcome set of events for everyone at Posh to have to deal with.
Thankfully, for Darren Ferguson, it doesn’t sound as if Clarke-Harris has kicked up a fuss about this move to Bristol Rovers falling through which is testament to the 29-year-old’s professionalism outweighing his damaged ego over the failed transfer.
He’ll hope he can score more goals whilst he’s with Posh for the time being, and as a result, put himself in a position for an even better suitor coming back in when the January transfer window opens.