Teenage Kicks: Why return of Lualua could do more harm than good

Lomana Lualua celebrates Asia Trophy success with Benjani
Lomana Lualua celebrates Asia Trophy success with Benjani
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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It is easy to get carried away when players like Lomana Lualua openly state they want to return to Pompey.

The cult hero is a popular figure and has unsurprisingly prompted many fans to call for his return.

And, honestly speaking, if I was in Paul Cook’s position, I would be offering contracts to Lualua and right-back Paul Caddis tomorrow.

But I’m not and we have to trust the manager’s judgement.

From the outside, fans will naturally judge players by their record on paper.

And it makes for nice reading when you look up Lualua and Caddis.

The fact is, though, the former is now 36 years old and has been without a club for a while.

And the latter, despite previously captaining a League Two winning side, has been blighted with injury for some time now.

All things considered, it is questionable as to whether either player would be the right fit for Pompey’s current scrap for third place.

The fact is, the Blues’ defence has been solid for a while now.

Prior to yesterday’s clash at Carlisle, they had not conceded any goals in open play since the deflected strike at Wycombe Wanderers.

It’s time to accept the settled defence of David Forde, Gareth Evans, Christian Burgess, Matt Clarke and Enda Stevens is best left alone.

On a separate note, I would be handing contracts to all four of the defenders right now.

With regards to the offensive side to Pompey’s game, I’m not sure any more additions are needed.

I suspect Carl Baker could push Gary Roberts for the attacking midfield slot but apart from that there are plenty of options already.

Do we need Lualua?

I’d love to say yes but I’m not sure such a signing would do the harmony of the squad any good at this late stage of the season.

I would accept the opinion Cook’s recruitment in the summer had it’s faults – and it could possibly cost Pompey.

I’m not sure anyone can argue the signings of Drew Talbot, Tom Davies, Milan Lalkovic and Michael Smith have been successful.

But, overall, Cook’s judgement has been favourable.

As manager, he is paid to make these decisions.

That is why it is important for fans to accept players capable of playing at a much higher level may not be the right options for the Blues at the moment.

Let’s back this current group of Pompey players until the end of the season.

A settled side is what we need now.

• Ben Sturt, 17, has been a season-ticket holder in the Fratton End for more than a decade and writes a column – through the eyes of a younger fan – in the Sports Mail every Sunday.