Cook seeking for Pompey midfielder to fulfil potential

A TALENT unfulfilled, injuries applying the hand brake to the progress of a promising career.

Thursday, 1st September 2016, 9:00 am
Amine Linganzi. Picture: Joe Pepler

Now Fratton Park is providing the launchpad for Amine Linganzi.

And Paul Cook is hoping the 26-year-old midfielder can flourish within the latest opportunity to demonstrate his ability.

Tuesday night’s defeat at Yeovil represented Linganzi’s third Pompey appearance since initially arriving on trial this summer.

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Currently into the second period of his month-by-month arrangement, Cook views the Congo international as a natural alternative to Michael Doyle and Danny Rose in the holding midfield role.

During previous spells in England at Blackburn, Preston, Accrington and Gillingham, Linganzi’s availability was hampered by injury.

He has yet to miss a training session for Pompey since arriving in July – and Cook has high hopes for him.

He said: ‘Amine’s a good player, this is the problem we have, we don’t see players play.

‘He gives us that physical presence in the middle of the park which is a massive asset and the Yeovil game was an opportunity for players to say to us “We should be playing”.

‘The lad’s doing well, he hasn’t missed a day’s training, can handle the ball well and also has a physical presence which is important in games when we do come under pressure.

‘He’s had a promising career, it has always promised to kick on without kicking on, he hasn’t fulfilled his potential yet.

‘One day these lads do come through, they change, they grow up a bit, and I’m not talking about Amine but lads in general.

‘Amine’s a good player, the kid can play football there‘s no doubt about that, if we do come under more pressure by committing men forward it gives us a different option in the middle.

‘He has signed another month and we are happy where we are at. He is comfortable with what we are doing and we are comfortable with what we are doing.’

Linganzi has become a growing presence on Pompey’s bench of late, edging ahead of the likes of Ben Close and Adam May as back-up to the holding midfield roles.

However, the trio all featured in the 4-3 defeat at Huish Park in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier this week, albeit May at right-back.

The emergence of Linganzi, who played under Leam Richardson at Accrington, influenced Danny Hollands not remaining at Fratton Park.

And Cook is pleased with his squad options.

He added: ‘Adam May is training well, Ben Close is as well, we are not short of first-team players.

‘We have so many changes in us to be able to play a different way, we can go different styles if we want, the squad we have is good enough.

‘No-one will see the benefit of our squad until October/November.

‘If we want to play with wide players with pace we can, if we want to go two up top we can, we have great options within our group with changes.’