Pompey told they have a coup in Adam McGurk capture

Adam McGurk in action for Burton Albion against QPR last season
Adam McGurk in action for Burton Albion against QPR last season
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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POMPEY have pulled off a good move by snapping up Adam McGurk.

That is the verdict of the Burton Mail’s Tom Sloan, who was an admirer of the skilful forward during his two years at the Pirelli Stadium.

The 26-year-old signed a two-year contract with the Blues on Wednesday to become Paul Cook’s fifth signing of the summer.

Turning down a fresh deal with promoted Burton in the process, it ended a spell which produced 83 appearances and 19 goals.

Sloan revealed McGurk’s style of play didn’t endear himself to all Brewers’ fans, despite being a key performer for Jimmy Flloyd Hasselbaink’s League Two title-winners.

But he believes the Northern Irishman is an excellent recruit for Cook.

‘Adam is a very talented player and in the last two years was one of the best players Burton have had,’ said Sloan.

‘It would be fair to say he is inconsistent, which has driven fans up the wall, and has never been particularly popular because of that.

‘That in itself is a shame because he is a gifted performer.

‘He creates, is a good finisher, and although doesn’t really have any pace it does not detract from his game.

‘Some people think he is lazy and a bit of a luxury player, but just because he doesn’t go around putting the big hits in doesn’t mean he won’t have an impact.

‘He scored some cracking goals, such as in the Capital One Cup victory over QPR last season, and in the promotion run-in was one of Jimmy’s best players having initially been dropped.

‘A few years ago he had his eye on the Championship, trialling for Birmingham after doing well at Tranmere, but they couldn’t put another player on the wage bill. That was the point he came to Burton.

‘Burton had offered him new terms to keep him but they weren’t keen to break the bank so it came to nothing.

‘I like him as a player and a person, he’s great to watch, possesses a lovely left foot and moves the ball well.

‘I think Portsmouth have got themselves a really good player.’

McGurk started his career at Aston Villa but slipped into non-league with Hednesford Town.

Tranmere Rovers brought him back into the Football League and he later joined Burton.

Having watched his progress, Sloan has his own ideas where McGurk’s best position lies.

He added: ‘Adam sees himself as a striker and played a lot up front last season, but others feel he is better wide on the left.

‘He would be perfect on the left or in the middle of a three behind a lone striker.

‘Generally, under Gary Rowett, it would be a 4-4-2 system with him either wide left or up front playing alongside a target man in Stuart Beavon.

‘He is not a target man or a number nine, more a number 10 and a winger.’