Peterborough United have done very well to hang onto both Jack Marriott (above) and Marcus Maddison for as long as they have.
Marriott has scored 27 goals in his debut season for The Posh to establish himself as arguably the Football League’s most in-demand striker, while the enigmatic winger Maddison has racked up some very impressive statistics too, scoring 12 and setting up 21 in all competitions.
Though with the spectre of Financial Fair Play looming, MacAnthony pointed out that the interested suitors, most likely a Villa side who have been linked with Marriott and Maddison in recent months, would only pay that fee if they are promoted to the Premier League.
A place in England’s top flight beckons, however, with the 4-1 thrashing of leaders Wolves on Saturday cementing Aston Villa’s place in third. Promotion, and all the riches than entails, would make a deal possible.
That does not mean it would be sensible, however. Marriott and Maddison might have taken the third tier by storm but they have never played above that level and it would surely be a major risk making them primary signings for a side preparing for a return to the Premier League.
Aston Villa famously brought in a number of lower league players prior to their relegation in 2016 but Jordan Bowery, Ashley Westwood, Joe Bennett and co struggled to make the step up and this transfer policy certainly contributed to the club’s rapid decline.
So as good as Marriott and Maddison have been this season, they would arrive under scrutiny at Villa Park.