Appleton unconvinced by Magri loan return

Sam Magri. Picture: Steve Reid (112523-765)
Sam Magri. Picture: Steve Reid (112523-765)
Graham Salisbury. Picture: Barry Zee

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Michael Appleton is unconvinced whether a Sam Magri loan return would be beneficial.

The 17-year-old is in discussions with Liverpool over a permanent switch.

However, a fee is still being thrashed out with administrator Trevor Birch following last week’s successful trial.

As part of any deal, Magri could come back to Fratton Park until the end of the season.

The potential return of the England under-18 defender would bolster Pompey’s threadbare squad.

But Appleton is wary over whether Magri is ready for first-team football at this moment in time.

And believes he may develop more remaining at Anfield.

He said: ‘This is where I have got to be very careful because if Sam comes back on loan, I am not sure what good that will do Portsmouth Football Club or Liverpool Football Club.

‘He was in and around the first-team squad and travelling with us for the last few weeks – along with Adam Webster.

‘Potentially, they could be good players but at the minute they are not ready for it.

‘I have been put into a situation where I have had to use Adam a few times and he is a good, young footballer.

‘But if I was in a position where I had a 22-25 man squad, the likelihood is he would be phased into games and situations throughout the season.

‘He probably wouldn’t be ready for about another year or two – and that is the same of Sam.

‘So I am not sure what benefit that would do for us or Liverpool.

‘They know they have a development squad, a reserve team and can develop Sam themselves over the next 12 months.’