Portsmouth FC: Does January offer a boost?

Portsmouth FC: Does January offer a boost?

  • It’s Andrew Moon
  • Commentator on BBC Radio Solent Portsmouth

Image source, Rex Features

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Callum Lang scored for the second game in a row after joining from Wigan

There is talk surrounding Portsmouth and the January transfer window. Firstly the poor windows have been expensive for promotion to League One and secondly the owners have not spent enough money in the month that promotion is needed.

The former is certainly true. Looking back at the January signings it is difficult to find many impressive signings. Hayden Carter did well on loan from Blackburn, Steve Seddon had some good results and Paddy Lane was a good performer. Even one that didn’t make much of an impact in the season he signed.

This last point is highly controversial. In retrospect the big money in January 2019 would have put Portsmouth in line. However, when money is spent, it is wasted.

Bryan Morris struggled with injuries and did not play much. Denver Hume’s £200,000 is up there with the best in recent years. A lot of money was also spent to bring in Tyler Walker on loan… he scored one goal.

It’s always easy to judge transfers over the course of a few years, but this January looks particularly good for Portsmouth. They have signed players at every key position and a few others.

The most important thing was a striker who could come in and control the starting eleven and another central defender. They got two attackers in Myles Peart-Harris and Callum Lang. Both have made excellent debuts. The loan arrival of Peart-Harris was not necessary if Alex Robertson did not pick up a season-ending injury, although Robertson will not be missed much if Peart-Harris can continue his promising start.

Lang is a bit of a coup. He has little interest in the Championship and wants to get back to that level. He could return to the side as Rotherham were also keen to sign him. However, they will need a miracle to stay in the second tier, with Portsmouth hoping to be there next year.

Ipswich full-back George Edmondson was one of the escapees. He only played two games on January 1, but has now become a regular for the Premier League chasers.

Buying Tom McIntyre from Reading for $75,000 might be a better long-term strategy. Portsmouth know all about losing players due to financial problems. It’s part of football. Although the money seems low, players who are going into the last few months of their contracts will not be sold for a lot of money.

Image source, Rex Features

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Owen Moxon made his Portsmouth debut against Northampton

Another central midfielder has not been a need for Portsmouth but Joe Morrell is struggling with a knee injury and Owen Moxon looks very smart. This was a deal but one that was agreed before Morrell was injured.

Pompey did not look for the missing pieces this window and insurance instead. Matt Macey may not be a goal keeper but he is a good stopper in League One if Will Norris is injured, suspended or out of form.

Having all the choices covered also means not letting players get away. Ryley Towler has had little luck this season and finds himself as the fourth choice again. His growth could benefit from loan repayments but Pompey are not taking the chance to leave themselves alone. Gavin Whyte and Anthony Scully are down but there could be time between now and May.

Missing out on their final target, the young Premier League 23-year-old could be disappointing on deadline day but will not derail the season. There’s a lot of depth in those areas now.

It’s been a long time since Portsmouth got everything they wanted and more from the January transfer window. The advertising competition itself is very strong and looks like two out of four up.

The win means Pompey have taken more than two points from their first 31 games. If they can keep it up to the last 15 they could end their stay in League One.

It’s up to John Mousinho, the coaches and the players to get the job done.

You can hear every Pompey game on BBC Radio Solent with Andy Moon and former Blues player and manager Guy Whittingham.

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