TAREIQ HOLMES-DENNIS will add attacking intent to Pompey from a defensive role.
And Kenny Jackett revealed the Blues’ new arrival will bring the kind of forward-thinking approach he wants from the left-back position next season.
Holmes-Dennis became Jackett’s second signing since arriving as manager, as he joined on a season-long loan from Huddersfield.
Jackett hailed the 21-year-old as the kind of ‘modern-day’ full-back he wanted to bring in, as he succeeds Enda Stevens following his departure.
Holmes-Dennis was part of the Huddersfield side who secured promotion to the Premier League last term.
He impressed the Pompey boss there - and he’s now looking forward to seeing him bombing down the left-flank in royal blue.
Jackett said: ‘He’s a natural left-back and an attacking one.
‘We saw him play in the Championship last season and he didn’t look out of place.
‘He handled the pace of the game and was quite natural there.
‘We’re glad to get him down to Portsmouth.
‘He’s a modern-day natural left-back who likes to attack.
‘That’s a big part of the game today.
‘If you’re full-backs are athletic and can make the play, that help things further up the pitch.
‘We’re delighted to get him into the club and I’m sure it’s an exciting time for the club.
‘Although he played a number of games last season and was part of a very successful team, he’ll be wanting him to play.
‘I do think your full-backs are very important these days.
‘Of course, they have to defend - but that’s not enough.
‘Being able to bring the ball out from the back, being able to drive forward and create along with athleticism is a big part of a modern-day full-back.’
Jackett underlined it’s a straight two-man battle between Holmes-Dennis and Brandon Haunstrup to compete for a starting spot in his team in the left-back role.
There were other sides vying for the former Charlton man in the Championship and League One.
Jackett said: ‘He’ll come into the squad and compete with Brandon Haunstrup for the left-back spot.
‘He’s quite a popular player and left-back’s quite a hard spot to fill, particularly natural left-backs.
‘If you do get caught without one for any length of time it’s going to affect the team.
‘You do want two specialist left-backs in your squad to make sure the balance is there.’
- JORDAN CROSS