Dennis backed to be Pompey '˜gem'
Louis Dennis is backed to become another '˜non-league gem' for Pompey.
That’s the verdict of Joe Gallen, following the recruitment of the attacking talent from National League side Bromley.
The 25-year-old returns to the Football League having departed in January 2014.
He made eight League Two appearances for Dagenham & Redbridge after emerging through the ranks, only to exit by mutual consent.
Dennis subsequently rebuilt his career at Bromley, where this season he struck 22 goals, featured in the FA Trophy final at Wembley and was named in the National League Team of the Season.
Snapped up by Kenny Jackett as a free agent, the forward has now been handed a two-year deal to prove his Football League worth.
And Gallen is convinced Dennis can follow in the footsteps of the likes of Jamal Lowe.
Pompey’s assistant manager said: ‘We have had our eye on Louis since January.
‘He has played well and scored a lot of goals, so it’s good we have the deal over the line.
‘We are hopeful we have another non-league gem.
‘There are a lot of players around that sort of flit in and out of non-league. They get a chance then go in and can come back.
‘The penny seems to drop for a lot of players when they reach their early 20s, especially having dropped from the pro game into non-league – and then they come back.
‘There are plenty of examples of that. There are so many throughout the league – Stefan Payne, at Shrewsbury, must have played for five or six non-league clubs but they come back.
‘For us, Jamal is the nearest reference point so we are hopeful of Louis improving like Jamal Lowe and becoming a mainstay of the team like Jamal Lowe.
‘All the staff have seen him play live. Technically-wise he is very good, a central player, a ball player, someone who can create and score goals.
‘We think he has got the attributes to handle the jump.
‘Obviously there is always a settling-in period for any player, he needs to find his feet and to gain his confidence.
‘But the staff and manager have complete confidence in him to go and play and do well.’
Dennis can operate as a number 10 or in wide positions, offering flexibility to Kenny Jackett.
And he joins Ronan Curtis in this week strengthening the Blues’ attacking options.
Gallen added: ‘Louis plays as an attacker, probably as a number 10.
‘That is where he has featured mainly for Bromley this season.
‘But we feel he can play in a number of positions.
‘If we have a front three we think he can go on the left because he is left-footed but we also think he can operate on the right-hand side and cut in, so there’s a lot of flexibility.
‘He’s pretty athletic, stands at 6ft, is a technical player who wants to get on the ball, wants to create chances and score goals.
‘He’s a creative number 10.’