Peterborough United – Route to the Top

Peterborough United are one of those teams players go to due to their excellent track record with getting players into higher leagues. The transfer policy at the club is to take players from Non-league and turn them into future Premier League stars.

Making the travel from Non-League to Premier League can be quite easy these days, just ask joint top goal scorer Jamie Vardy, but it’s all about choosing the right club. In step Peterborough United, probably the club with the best track record of creating Championship and Premier League players from the depths of League Two and Non-League. The latest signings that show this desire would have to be Aaron Williams and Callum Chettle from Nuneaton Town from the National League North (Williams getting his first Posh goal in a 3-2 loss to Port Vale).

Peterborough has been dubbed by BBC Sport as ‘The millionaire makers’, referencing players such as Dwight Gayle, Craig Mackail-Smith and Aaron Mclean. But in more recent times, other players have also tasted this success. The first would have to be Britt Assombalonga, Peterborough’s record transfer paid and received. The club signed him from (then) Championship side Watford and resold him to Championship side Nottingham Forest for up to nearly six times the prices they signed him for.

Next, and most recent, would be QPR’s newest Striker, Conor Washington. Signed as part of a deal that saw Shaun Jeffers go in the other direction, Conor was seen as the next big thing to step into Assombalonga’s shoes once he inevitably left the club, and this season, he certainly did that. Before leaving in January, he had already accumulated 15 goals, including a hat-trick in a 4-0 away win at Scunthorpe. Due to this form, he has been called up to Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland squad for friendlies against Wales and Slovenia.

Finally, the player who has probably benefitted the most since leaving is Dwight Gayle. Peterborough United signed Gayle on loan in November 2012 and this was made permanent in the January of 2013 after scoring 7 goals in 9 league games to help the relegation battle from the Championship. After only being an official Peterborough player for just over 6 months, he made his switch to newly promoted Premier League side Crystal Palace (the team that also scored the goal to send Peterborough down) for more than nine times the price Peterborough bought him for. Since then, he hasn’t really featured much, getting a hat-trick vs Walsall in the Capital One Cup and a brace vs Liverpool which effectively ended their title chances.

Below is a list of player that has joined and left the club, with some stats as to how they performed before leaving. There are several other players that have gone on to play in the Premier League (for example Aaron McLean and Ryan Bennett), but in my opinion, these are the most notable six:

George Boyd:
2007 – 2013, 263 League Games, 64 Goals
Stevenage – Peterborough, £260,000
Peterborough – Hull, Free
Won 2 caps for Scotland since leaving
Now at Championship Leaders Burnley
Won Burnley Player of the Season in the 2014/15 Premier League season

Dwight Gayle:
2012 – 2013, 29 League Games, 13 Goals
Dagenham & Redbridge – Peterborough, £500,000 – £750,000 (with add-ons)
Peterborough – Crystal Palace, £4.5 Million
Most notably scored twice vs Liverpool

Craig Mackail-Smith:
2004 – 2007, 185 League Games, 80 Goals
Dagenham & Redbridge – Peterborough, £135,000
Peterborough – Brighton, £2.5 Million – £3.25 Million (with add-ons)
Now at Luton Town
Won 7 caps and scored 1 goal for Scotland since leaving the club

Russell Martin:
2008 – 2010, 56 League Games, 1 Goal
Wycombe – Peterborough, Free Transfer
Peterborough – Norwich, Free Transfer
Currently Norwich captain in Premier League
Won 22 caps for Scotland since 2011

Conor Washington:
2014 – 2016, 82 League Games, 27 Goals
Newport County – Peterborough, £250,000 (and Shaun Jeffers)
Peterborough – QPR, £2.5 Million – £3 Million
Yet to score in 8 games for his new club
Recently called up to the Northern Ireland Squad (alongside current Peterborough player Michael Smith)

Britt Assombalonga:
2013 – 2014, 43 League Games, 23 Goals
Watford – Peterborough, Fee around £1.5 Million
Peterborough – Nottingham Forest, £6-£8 Million (with add-ons)
Been out for a year since with a serious knee injury

Based off all of this, surely if a player in non-league wanted to become the next Jamie Vardy, they’d head to Peterborough United?

Do you agree? Feel free to leave a comment or tweet me @kieranmoss97 and @OfficialTFF



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