Loan Watch: Ryan Tunnicliffe and Scott Wootton at Peterborough United


By John Fernandez

After our victory at old Trafford in the play-offs last season I knew that our squad would need some serious reinforcing over the summer, we lacked depth in our squad that we could rely on and well some lads could hardly cut it at League 1 level so the Championship was always going to be a step to far. We needed some experienced heads to come in to guide our young squad, sadly though our wage bracket is preventing any such moves and while this is a disappointment it did mean that the old Ferguson connection would need some utilising.

I’ve never been one to complain about Fergie Jnr’s hand me downs from his father, however we have only been graced with two, in the shape of short term loans centre back James Chester and one game shot stopper Ben Amos. Both played their socks of for the club and I can’t fault their dedication but for players to really make a difference they need to be at the club for an extended period of time.

So when the rumours of us getting 2 or maybe even 3 young United lads surfaced I couldn’t hold myself back from scouring the youth team/reserves for players that could fit in at Posh. A name that jumped out from the start was that of young Ryan Tunnicliffe, I was won over by the Roy Keane comparisons and the fact that every United fan who had seen him play thought that the boy definitely had some class. Shortly after then he was signed by us on a 6-month loan deal.

Where I can see him fitting in, is in the hole left by the eventual departure of Aussie battler James Weslowski. He was a tough tackling central midfielder much like Tunnicliffe has been billed as and this is where I see the 19 year old midfielder fitting in. I think Fergie Jnr. sees him as first team from the very start and I hope he can hit the ground running at this level as our back four will need protecting and as our box to box man I can see this being one of his main duties. I am sure he will pitch in with some attacking displays as well, but if he can help out in the defensive third as well as he has been billed too he could prove to be a key man this season for Posh.

Wootton’s signing didn’t buoy me as much as Tunnicliffe’s since I believe our best central defensive pairing is already at the club in the shape of Ryan Bennett and Gabriel Zukuani. I believe he has been signed as a back-up to this pairing if one is injured and with Zukuani’s injury record this may mean that Wootton will be called on regularly. In our pre-season fixture against Barnet though he was placed at the bottom of Fergie Jnr’s preferred midfield diamond in a position he didn’t look entirely comfortable with, maybe with practice this could be where he fits in but for now I really just see him as a backup, although I would love to be proved wrong by some amazing defensive performances as most of our problems stem from our dodgy defending.

Overall both of these lads could do decent jobs for us and I can see Tunnicliffe being a major cog this season, let’s hope that they get some time to shine and that they can give us what we were missing 2 years ago.


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