Adam Buxton can challenge for Pompey’s first-team – as a midfielder.
That is the verdict of Ian Foster, who watched the versatile performer excel for the reserves on Monday night.
Adam is brave in there, he is a wonderful footballer and I think on Monday night showed his qualitiesIan Foster
The full-back, who can operate on either flank, was chosen to occupy an unfamiliar midfield role against Wolves in the Premier League Cup.
Sitting just in front of the back four, Buxton caught the eye with his tackling, work-rate and range of passing.
The Westleigh Park match finished goalless, yet a number of performances delighted Foster.
Particularly Buxton away from his favoured right-back role.
And the Blues first-team coach believes the 24-year-old possesses the ability to feature in midfield for Paul Cook’s side.
Foster said: ‘It was an unfamiliar position for Adam, but you can see the kid has a wonderful range of passing, is very, very competitive and wins second balls.
‘It’s something we have done with him in training a couple of times when we’ve had a look at the shape.
‘Adam is brave in there, he is a wonderful footballer and I think on Monday night showed his qualities.
‘I am sure he can play as a holding midfielder for the first team. He’s intelligent enough, he’s got the range of passing to play and, if it’s something we need, the manager can look at it.
‘He didn’t do himself any harm in that position against Wolves.
‘We went through shape and things with Adam prior to the game so he knows tactically where he is supposed to get the ball, he knows his responsibilities out of possession.
‘I thought he handled Adam May and Ben Close in front of him really well, getting the two of them on the ball as often as he could.
‘His versatility always helps, although if you ask him he would want to play right-back.
‘Whether you put him in the centre of the park or left-back, he will do a job for you.’
Buxton has yet to make a league appearance for the Blues following an injury-hampered start to his Fratton Park career.
He has, though, had four cup outings, including games against Wycombe and Bristol Rovers last week.
Now Foster wants to see him push on.
He added: ‘Adam is injury-free and had a really good game against Wolves – it is a great positive for us all.
‘If we have a fit and strong Adam Buxton then everyone’s happy.’