Appleton wants midfielder return

Abdul Razaq caught the eye in just a handful of games for Pompey Picture: Barry Zee

Abdul Razaq caught the eye in just a handful of games for Pompey Picture: Barry Zee

Jack Whatmough makes a last-ditch tackle for Pompey against Cambridge United Picture: Barry Zee

Richardson hails new Pompey centre-back partnership

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Michael Appleton is keen to bring Abdul Razak back to Pompey.

The Blues boss sees the Manchester City prodigy as the kind of player he wants to look towards in the future.

Razak was this week recalled by City boss Roberto Mancini following three loan appearances for the Blues, after being sent to Fratton Park to gain experience.

The 19-year-old showed glimpses of the quality which has got City believing he is destined for great things.

Appleton used the Ivorian talent off the bench in his first game in charge at Watford.

But he was won over by the ball-playing quality Razak showed in training since the Pompey boss came into his new role earlier this month.

With City facing two games in 48 hours next week as part of a busy period, the teenager has been recalled early to the Etihad Stadium.

Appleton spoke of his disappointment at seeing the midfielder leave.

But he insisted he would like to see Razak back in a Pompey shirt, with the starlet ticking the right boxes in terms of the type of player he wants to bring in to the club.

Appleton said: ‘It’s disappointing Abdul is going back from our point of view.

‘He came on at Watford and did everything I would expect a midfield player to do, especially the type of midfielder I want.

‘He’s a talent I would have loved to have worked with for another five or six weeks and get the best out of him.

‘I would have liked to see him play a little bit higher up the pitch and be given that opportunity. He can pick a pass out.

‘I don’t blame Manchester City for taking him back. They have some big games coming up.

‘If he gets utilised there, then fantastic and good luck to him. If he doesn’t, then the door isn’t shut to people, especially players with his talent.

‘If he does do great back at City then we wish him well, but he’ll be sorely missed from our point of view.

‘I never got that much time to work with the lad.

‘I’d love the opportunity to have Abdul back here further down the line.’

Appleton laid down a marker this week as he moved to bring in West Brom youngsters George Thorne and Joe Mattock on loan until January.

The pair are indicative of the kind of young, hungry attacking players he’s looking to add to Pompey’s squad.

Appleton feels Razak is cut from the same cloth as the new pair. He would like to see the player back at Fratton, where he feels he can get the best out of his attacking talent.

Appleton said: ‘What I’d say about Abdul is there will be games where he can go in, start and dominate games.

‘Then there are other games where he will be able to come and be an impact player.

‘You can see he’s got that ability.’

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