Steve Cotterill has earmarked Jason Pearce for a centre-half role.
The summer recruit from Bournemouth can operate at left-back as well as more familiar territory on the left-hand side of the centre of defence.
It is a versatility which could prove priceless as Blues boss Cotterill heads into pre-season well short of numbers once again.
Joel Ward’s ability to play in a variety of positions was crucial last term, while Greg Halford started in a number of roles before settling in to the heart of the backline.
But Cotterill is viewing Pearce as purely a central defender.
That was his main job at Bournemouth – and his manager wants the same at Fratton Park.
He said: ‘I think Jason is probably more a centre-back than a left-back.
‘I actually need to see him up close to find out whether he could ever do that job.
‘Predominantly, though, I think he is more a centre-back.
‘He seems to do very well when he is up against somebody.’
Pearce has been described by some as an old-fashioned defender.
Strong, brave, gutsy and tough are just some of his qualities. But Cotterill insists there is so much more to the 23-year-old’s game.
He added: ‘I’ve heard Jason called an old-fashioned centre back but what does that mean?
‘Does old-fashioned mean he can’t pass it out of the back – because he can do that.
‘He can hit a very good diagonal ball with his left foot, I have seen that.
‘He can pass it into midfield.
‘Calling him old-fashioned would probably not quite do him justice.
‘He is a tough boy, though.’