On this day: Portsmouth boss keen to welcome back controversial defender from West Ham

On this day in 2010, Steve Cotterill admitted he was unsure whether Tal Ben-Haim would return to Pompey.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 9:21 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:33 am
Former Pompey defender Tal Ben-Haim Picture:Steve Reid

But the Blues boss was keen to welcome back the defender, who was on loan at West Ham at the time.

Ben-Haim made the Upton Park switch in August 2010, with Pompey desperate to reduce their Premier League-sized wage bill.

Since then he had featured in nine matches for Avram Grant's side, although only five have come in the Premier League.

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Former Pompey defender Tal Ben-Haim Picture:Steve Reid

West Ham had still to make a decision on whether to extend the former Bolton man's loan stay or take up the option of making the move permanent.

For the Blues, his reported wages of £36,000-a-week represented a massive stumbling block should he return.

Regardless, he was a player Cotterill would like to see back as he strived to bolster his paper-thin squad.

Speaking to The News, he said: '˜I don't know the answer to whether Tal is coming back or not.

'˜Him coming back over the hill is something I have looked at, but whether that is going to happen or not, I don't know.

'˜I would imagine it will maybe come out this week.

'˜For sure, I would want him here. Anyone would be a good addition to our squad at this moment in time.

'˜When Tal was here before I liked him. I got on well with him, I think he was a nice guy.

'˜I didn't get a chance to have a look at him too much as a footballer but he was a nice guy and I liked him.

'˜One of my last conversations with him was when he was going to play at Havant and then I had a phone call to say he couldn't (because he was off to West Ham).

'˜It was 1.30 to 1.45pm, just after he had finished warming up.

'˜Hopefully, those sort of days are behind us. But I don't know the real answers to whether Tal will stay there or come back.'