Brewers hero who can become Pompey favourite

We caught up with Burton Mail reporter Joshua Murray to get the lowdown on Kenny Jackett's newest Pompey recruit, Tom Naylor...

By The Newsroom
Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:33 pm
Tom Naylor heads Burton Albion into the Championship with the winning goal against Gillingham in 2016
Tom Naylor heads Burton Albion into the Championship with the winning goal against Gillingham in 2016

I have no doubt Tom will have a very positive impact at Portsmouth.

You only have to take one look at social media to see how gutted Burton fans are that he is leaving.

He has become a popular character with Brewers supporters and the club were certainly keen to keep hold of him, too.

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Tom Naylor heads Burton Albion into the Championship with the winning goal against Gillingham in 2016

Nigel Clough said Tom had been made an offer which would have seen him become their joint highest-paid player.

So that shows how keen they were to keep him as they aim to bounce back into the Championship at the first time of asking.

I always expected Tom would be the most sought-after of Burton’s out-of-contract players.

He has had such a successful time with the club – back-to-back promotions and then two seasons in the Championship.

Tom Naylor celebrates his goal which sealed Burton Albion's unlikely promotion to the Championship

He has the ability to get a team on the front foot.

Tom had the knack – in both League One and the Championship – of not just scoring goals from midfield but doing so at crucial times.

He will definitely add that to Portsmouth and, at 26, he is at a great age.

He is still young, he still has plenty of his career left but also has a lot of experience under his belt.

Tom has done it in League Two, League One and has just had two seasons in the Championship where he has done well.

I think he is experienced enough now to handle the pressure which will come with playing for Portsmouth.

He is capable of becoming the first name on the teamsheet or the midfielder you build a side around.

Tom was a near-constant at centre-back for Burton this season and he was brilliant there.

But I would expect him to play in the centre of midfield for Portsmouth.

He was originally signed by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in League Two for that role.

In League One, he played central midfield and was primarily used there in the first season in the Championship.

Clough said this season he saw him more as a centre-back. Burton’s defence lacked pace and he was the one who added that, along with the ability to get on the ball and play out from the back.

He is a genuine option and very comfortable in both positions.

Playing in midfield, though, he is one of those who has a knack of arriving in the box at the right time.

He scored the goal which all but promoted Burton into the Championship.

It was 1-1 with Gillingham on the penultimate day – with a win needed to solidify it. And there was Tom, popping up at the back post in injury-time to head home a corner.

That is seen by many as the most important goal in Burton’s history.

On the pitch he is quite quiet. He is one of those players who tends to lead by example.

He is not a big shouter. He lets his performances do the talking and is a very honest player.

I imagine he will quickly become a popular figure with Portsmouth fans, just like he was at Burton.

Check out all our coverage of Naylor’s Pompey arrival. Have you read?