Peterborough owner quizzed on replacing Stoke-linked Dembele and Clarke-Harris



Darragh MacAnthony, the social media-friendly Peterborough United owner, has told supporters that new signing Kwame Poku is not necessarily a replacement for Siriki Dembele.

Tricky forward Dembele, aged 24, has been linked with a move away after three years showing his creative potential in League One – and now in the last 12 months of his contract at London Road.

Celtic and Rangers have been put in the mix this summer, as well as Stoke City, Bournemouth and Fulham.

Poku, aged 19, has been unveiled this morning after an 18-month pursuit while he has been catching the eye in a similar role for Colchester United.

MacAnthony responded to a fan on Twitter who said he was “clearly a Dembele replacement” by saying: “No pressure to replace anybody.

“We have bought one of EFL’s brightest talents who the gaffer and his staff feel with coaching/time could be unplayable with so much improvement in him due to age and ability.”

When asked about the Dembele speculation, he added: “No comment on who is in for any players. All eyes on season starting now.”

Stoke have also been linked with prolific striker Jonson Clarke-Harris, who has sat out of pre-season so far as he nurses a calf injury.

The 27-year-old has also been reportedly wanted by Sheffield United and Rangers.

In response to a fan saying that Clarke-Harris will need replacing, MacAnthony said: “No he won’t.”

Peterborough, who won promotion last season – helped along the way by loanee Joe Bursik, have already re-signed forward Jack Marriott as well as highly-rated Lincoln midfielder Jorge Grant, Leicester defender Josh Knight and Ipswich keeper David Cornell.

Ferguson said as he unveiled Poku: “I am really excited about this signing. He is a young player I have watched for the last 18 months. We enquired about him last season and we have continued to monitor his progress.

“He had a bit of a stop-start season last year, which can happen with young ones. He can play as a 10 and he can play wide right or even wide left at a push. He is a talented boy and I believe he has real potential. It is a really good signing for the football club.”

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