Posh currently have eight defenders on their books comprising of one right-back, three left-backs, and three central defenders. Of those eight players, two are expected to go out on loan to further their footballing careers.
Here we take a look at all eight players:
Posh had three main central defenders last season, one of whom remains at the club with the other two departing for new challenges. Last season’s captain, Jack Baldwin, has signed for League One favourites Sunderland while popular Geordie, Steven Taylor, has flown around the world to New Zealand to sign for Wellington Pheonix.
‘Taf’ is the only senior central defender remaining from last season and whom the back four should be built around. He is comfortable on the ground and rarely loses battles in the air.
The big worry is that he is coming into the final year of his contract at the ABAX Stadium which means we could see him depart the club!
Yorwerth was hailed as the “best central defender” in League Two last season when he signed for Posh and with that sort of headline, we expect to see him start the season as the regular partner for Taf.
We haven’t seen him play in a Posh shirt yet so we can’t comment on how well he has transitioned into the Posh squad but he played second fiddle to another newcomer, Rhys Bennett, on Saturday in the only home match of pre-season. Does that mean Bennett has impressed boss Steve Evans more?
Bennett has followed Evans from Mansfield Town which probably gives him the edge of Yorwerth as Evans will know exactly what Bennett is capable of.
The 26-year-old received mixed comments from Stags fans after his departure with some of those comments very worrying! All comments must be put to one side though as it’s what he does in a Posh shirt that matters. However, his performance against Bolton Wanderers was disappointing and not one that inspired confidence!
Bennett can fill in at right-back and also act as a defensive midfielder.
Posh have got high hopes for teenager Cartwright and is certainly one for the future. We’ve seen him for the last couple of pre-seasons and he has got bigger and better but he needs to gain experience playing men’s football regularly.
He has played in a number of positions along the Posh backline in pre-season but is expected to go out on a season-long loan somewhere.
Last season’s regular right-back Liam Shephard has moved on to League Two side Forest Green Rovers while Leo Da Silva Lopes, who often played as a wing-back has also departed the club, heading to Championship side Wigan Athletic.
Posh beat the likes of Sunderland and Aberdeen to capture the signature of Jason Naismith. The Ross County right-back is highly regarded in Scotland and could feature in the senior Scotland squad if he continues to progress.
The 23-year-old has certainly slotted in very well and looks a competent player who defends well and who joins in the attack as well.
He is the only recognised right-back in the squad though and although there are a couple of players that can replace him should the need arise, Naismith has no real competition for his place which as we’ve seen down the years is not always a good thing.
Andrew Hughes made this position his own last season as he became Mr. Reliable. Not only was he dependable, he was a threat going forward and he could cover, with comfort, in a centre back position which he also showed at times last season. That versatility and reliability earned him a move to the Championship and to Preston North End.
Daniel arrived from fellow League One side Blackpool with glowing statistics showing him to be one of the best left-backs in League One last season!
He’s got big boots to fill though and hopefully, he’ll cope much better than he did on Saturday when facing Bolton’s Sammi Ameobi and he won’t go missing very often as was the case for the first Wanderers goal!
Denton is only on loan at Posh from Championship side Leeds United. He is a left-sided player who plays mainly as a left-back but can operate on the left side of midfield.
It is the latter where Steve Evans has mainly played Denton in pre-season which suggests that Daniel will be the preferred choice at left-back. If he is to operate in midfield he will need to link up much better with Daniel than the pair showed against Bolton. Posh looked much better with a recognised winger in the second half when Denton was replaced so he may have to bide his time and come on in either position whenever called upon.
The 18-year-old has made a handful of appearances for Posh but is expected to depart the club on loan. He originally burst onto the scene during the 2016 pre-season making a number of impressive performances. Sadly those same performances didn’t materialise when playing in the first team although he has done well in his loan spells at clubs such as Cambridge City and Guiseley.
With age on his side, he needs a good loan spell playing week-in, week-out to build up his confidence and experience.
VITAL POSH VERDICT:
It would appear that the left and right-back positions are already nailed on for Colin Daniel and Jason Naismith respectively but what combination of central defenders will get the nod for the opening match of the season on Saturday?
With the departure of Jack Baldwin to Sunderland, Posh are on the lookout for a replacement but will they get one in time for Saturday or more importantly, will they get one in before the transfer window shuts next week?
If we had to choose between the players we currently have, we’d obviously plump for Taf as the left-sided centre-back but who would partner him? Having not seen Yorwerth yet, this is a difficult one to call but seeing as Bennett played against Bolton at the weekend, then he could have the edge over the “best central defender in League Two last season”!