The Insider: Pompey target Walton not fazed by big occasion

Christian Walton
Christian Walton
Matty Kennedy. Pompey 1 Southend United 0. Fratton Park. League One. Saturday, November 18, 2017. Picture: Joe Pepler PPP-171119-145411001

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Brian Owen, from the Brighton Argus, gives the inside track on Pompey target Christian Walton.

A move to Pompey for Christian Walton makes sense for all parties.

He needs to play football and it’s a good chance to play in front of decent crowds in League One.

I remember the Pompey goalkeeping coach, Scott Bevan, coming down and watching Christian very closely in 2015.

He played for the under-21s who lost 4-0 at Derby after just coming back from a loan at Bury.

He had two quite tricky loan spells, followed up by two really good loans last season.

He went to Bury and got injured and then Plymouth, his hometown club, and it didn’t work out.

The stays at Luton and Southend last season were really positive, though.

Christian is quite a highly-rated keeper and I can’t remember ever seeing him do much wrong, but we haven’t really seen a lot of him in the first team here.

When he signed from Plymouth in 2013 there was quite a big deal made of it.

He came in when Brighton were struggling under Sami Hyypia early in the 2014-15 season.

Christian actually played at Tottenham in the League Cup in front of a big crowd there.

The likes of Harry Kane, Aaron Lennon, Andros Townsend, Eric Lamela and Roberto Soldado were playing for Spurs, and a poor Brighton side were under siege for the first 20 minutes.

I just remember him looking really calm and assured, though, in front of 34,000 supporters. He did well there.

Then he played away to Middlesbrough in front of a crowd of 30,000-plus at the end of the season.

Christian was named sponsors’ man-of-the-match in a win against Wigan as well.

That was a big home game for him to play in, which turned out to be a six pointer and there was an appearance against Blackburn.

He’s never looked inhibited or nervous from what I’ve seen of him.

The thing that struck me was you wouldn’t have realised how young he was when watching him play.

It was only after the match when he was being interviewed you realised.

He was a man of few words and it underlined his youth. You would never have thought it from seeing him play, though, whatsoever.

Brighton will not let him go until they get a couple of keepers in.

They wouldn’t have a problem in having him on the bench in the Premier League, but the ideal thing is for him to go out and play.

It was a shame for him last season. He was playing well at Luton when the back-up keeper Niki Maenpaa got injured and he had to come back.

He just had to sit on the bench and that must’ve been frustrating for him when he’d been getting football under his belt. After that he went to Southend and he did well there as they just missed out on the play-offs.

Now, it looks likely he will be going out again.