George Cooper returned to his parent club Peterborough United last month and much to the Green Army’s dismay, it looks doubtful the ‘king of assists’ will be turning out for Plymouth Argyle next season.
Cooper signed for Peterborough in January 2018 for an undisclosed fee, however, he has only managed 16 starts for the club. Determined not to end up a bit part player, Cooper certainly proved his doubters wrong during his loan spell at Plymouth.
Cooper struggled for minutes early in the season but after an injury to defender Callum McFadzean, he had his chance to impress at left-wing-back. And that he did.
The 23-year-old hit the ground running on the left side tallying up 12 assists in League Two, becoming a fan favourite among the Home Park faithful. His wand of a left foot caused countless problems to opposition defences, with many of his assists coming through pinpoint crosses.
Peterborough attempted to recall him in January but luckily for the Pilgrims, the decision had to be mutual. On the flipside, there was a release clause within the loan meaning Cooper could have been made a permeant addition to Lowe’s squad in January - but no offer was ever made.
Now the season is concluded, and Argyle have been promoted to League One, Ryan Lowe will be looking to strengthen his side and have a well-deserved crack at third tier football. Something that Peterborough, going into their eighth successive League One campaign, hoped they had seen the last of.
The Posh have been chasing promotion to the Championship since their relegation in the 2012/13 season. Chairman Darragh MacAnthony was certain this year was the one, going as far as tweeting in January “I have so much confidence in manager/staff/players that if we don’t achieve the play offs this season I’ll step down as chairman."
If the season were to have continued, then Peterborough looked likely candidates to finish inside the top six and sought promotion through the play-offs. Alas, they finished seventh through an unweighted points-per game system - much to MacAnthony’s anger.
Speaking on Sky Sports News he said:
"I bet my life we would have finished in the top two. I’m telling you know if you look at our nine fixtures, the goals we score, we have the best player outside the Championship and Premier League in Ivan Toney who was on fire.
“Nobody in the top six wanted to play us, which is probably why the vote went the way it went."
The coronavirus pandemic has thwarted Argyle’s chances of making Cooper a permanent addition at Home Park - not just financially. Speaking to Argyle fans on twitter, Darragh replied to one asking the chances of Cooper returning to Home Park very bluntly, “None pal”.
When another fan asked if the Pilgrims could meet his valuation, the self-titled ‘El Presidente’ responded that it was “Unlikely to happen now we are going to be in League One next year we will probably get Coops back in our squad. Time will tell."
Those three words, however, will spark hope in the Pilgrims’ hearts.