Comment: Pompey still need three more signings in January

Kenny Jackett wasted little time bolstering his squad in the transfer window by swooping for Wolves duo Connor Ronan and Sylvain Deslandes.

Thursday, 4th January 2018, 3:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th January 2018, 4:32 pm
Sylvain Deslandes, left, and Connor Ronan arrived on loan from Wolves yesterday Picture: Colin Farmery

Both loanees are fledging talents at Molineux who have made appearances in the Championship for the runaway league leaders this season.

Jackett’s quick business has to be saluted given the lengthening injury list at Fratton Park.

But why stop there? Pompey still need three more new faces before the January window shuts.

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With the Blues in the League One play-off places, there can’t be anything left to chance.

Between now and May, all measures must be taken to give themselves the best chance of a top-six finish.

Jackett’s priority now has to be a replacement for the injured Danny Rose.

The experienced midfielder suffered a season-ending broken leg in the 3-1 victory against Northampton.

Jackett currently has only three central midfielders fit in Ben Close, Adam May and Theo Widdrington – who was recalled from his loan spell at the Hawks this week.

Granted, Stuart O’Keefe is expected back from injury soon, yet Pompey still need another central midfielder to fill the considerable void left by Rose.

With the Bristol-born talent sidelined, the Blues are missing that bit of nous and know-how in the engine room, as well as a leader on the pitch.

Essential components when it comes to the business end of the season.

A right-back should also be on Jackett’s shopping list.

Nathan Thompson has been one of Pompey’s most consistent players this term.

He’s made the role his own and has quickly established himself as a fans’ favourite.

Yet he is the Blues’ only specialist right-back since last month’s departure of Drew Talbot.

And with Gareth Evans out for a month, it makes you seriously wonder who would plug the void if Thompson were to suffer an injury?

When he returns to full fitness, utilising Evans at right-back – if Thompson was unavailable – is a waste of the attacking strengths that have helped Pompey’s climb up the League One table.

The final position Jackett should strengthen is central defence.

Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke’s partnership has continued to flourish again this term – but they’re the only two fit centre-backs at Fratton Park.

There’s no date on Jack Whatmough’s return from injury, while Oli Hawkins’ three goals in two matches shows he should be concentrating on his striking duties rather than being a makeshift defender.

New-boy Deslandes has played centre-half for Wolves this season, but left-back is his favoured role and he should be given his chance there.

Jackett’s early dip into the transfer market is welcome news – but there’s still plenty of business to be done.