Pompey youngster poised for fresh loan deal

Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain. Picture: Colin Farmery
Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain. Picture: Colin Farmery
Pompey midfielder Danny Rose. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey will seek a fresh loan deal for Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain when Drew Talbot returns from injury.

The academy product had a spell at National League South outfit Poole Town at the start of the season, operating in a striker role.

He then joined Oxford City, in the same division as the Dolphins, after boss Kenny Jackett decided to convert Oxlade-Chamberlain into a modern-day right-back.

The 19-year-old was a regular for the Marsh Lane outfit on the right-hand side of defence.

However, after the injuries to Christian Burgess and Nathan Thompson, Oxlade-Chamberlain was recalled to Pompey last month to provide cover.

With Talbot nursing a groin injury and Gareth Evans regarded as a winger, the former St John’s College student is currently Jackett’s fit second-choice right-back, behind Thompson.

When Talbot does regain full fitness, Oxlade-Chamberlain will again move to a non-league side to continue his development.

Jackett said: ‘Certainly, when we get Talbot back, Oxlade-Chamberlain will be going back out on loan.

‘I’ve moved him to right-back since I was here and it’s increased our options along the defence.

‘A youth player can spend some period out on loan and some back with us.

‘Sometimes it is good for them to go out for the whole season on loan.

‘But working with under-23 players (at Tottenham) last year, some part of their season playing out on loan is a good thing.’

First-year professionals Theo Widdrington and Jez Bedford are also learning their trade in National League South at the Hawks and Poole respectively.

Jackett believes the pair are reaping the rewards from playing in the sixth tier.

The Blues boss added: ‘They’re coming on for it.

‘The National League South is a good route, whereas other clubs may go with a development squad.

‘If you’re 18 and you’re in the National League South, it’s a good thing.

‘It can do you the world of good, it’s a competitive league and a good thing at their age.

‘When they do come back to our own group and in reserve games, I can see the difference in terms of their physicality, mentality and their game awareness.

‘Bedford has now got a bit of bite to him.

‘He’s a good competitor, has a tight touch and has a good turning circle.’

– WILL ROONEY