Another opportunity for Portsmouth youngster Leon Maloney to thrust himself into Kenny Jackett's long-term plans

It was a performance that left the Fratton faithful purring.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 5:59 pm
Leon Maloney impressed against Crawley. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Well impressed with Leon Maloney tonight, looks a decent player’, wrote one supporter on Twitter.

‘Leon Maloney looked very good tonight’, added another. 

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Leon Maloney impressed against Crawley. Picture: Joe Pepler

On his full debut and just his second senior appearance, the Isle of Wight lad did himself proud.

It was a display of quality, creativity and bravery to express himself outside of the youth ranks which stood out. 

On that back of that encouraging display, Maloney will be in contention to start against Norwich under-21s tomorrow in the Trophy. 

With Marcus Harness injured, Ronan Curtis just back from international duty and Ryan Williams being nursed back to full fitness, the shortage of wingers means the 18-year-old is likely to get another chance. 

And Maloney will be looking to underline why he should be part of Kenny Jackett's long-term plans.

Clearly, the third-year scholar is rated by the Blues manager.

Although he was always unlikely to feature when on the bench at QPR and Blackpool, it still shows Jackett sees ability there.

By his own admission, the boss believes too many clubs don’t have a proper plan in place for youngsters.

Diligent in his workings, Jackett will already be envisaging where his squad is six months, a year and even 18 months down the line.

A role in this season’s League One promotion push this season may be a step too far – although there are some fans who wouldn't be adverse to it after his Crawley performance.

But with a highly-regarded sports science team in place at PO4, there’ll already be a regime he’s working towards. 

Although a deadline-day move to FC Voldendam didn’t materialise, Pompey will want to get him out on loan and expose him to senior football week in, week out.

But the Norwich clash represents another chance for him to show why he can become a regular at Fratton Park in the near future.