The Insider: Pompey-signing Thompson has ability in abundance
With Nathan Thompson becoming Pompey's first signing of the summer, we spoke to Matt Edwards at the Swindon Advertiser to get the lowdown on the 26-year-old.
Here’s what he had to say...
Thompson is highly rated and is a big favourite among Swindon fans.
He’s one of the few players who have graduated through the Robins academy along with his brother Louis.
Nathan was very good in the 2014-15 season when Swindon reached the play-off final.
However, injuries since then – and even during that campaign – have become a big issue and stuttered his development.
In the play-off final he picked up a hamstring injury after four minutes and went off in tears.
Since then he’s had so many niggling injuries which have hindered him from completing a full season.
Louis left the County Ground three seasons ago for Norwich because he had the potential to step up a level.
Nathan saw his brother do that and in the back of his head he might be thinking he can take his career further.
Now his contract has expired, he might believe it is the right time to try to push on higher up the leagues.
Thompson wanted a move to the Championship, but now he’s thinking of joining a side who’ll be at the top of League One.
He is a versatile player. Thompson started his trade as a right-back, but centre-back has become more of his natural position.
He can also play as a sweeper in a back three or in front of the defence.
In midfield, Thompson enjoys roaming runs to get higher up the pitch, but central defence is his main position.
The biggest issue in that role is his pace.
It’s something that can let him down and he can make the odd cynical foul in desperation to not allow a player get past him.
Right-back is a void he could fill at Pompey.
However, he might feel that’s not the best position for the development of his career.
He is more than capable, however, without a doubt – but as long as he’s got someone in front of him in midfield and he doesn’t feature as a wing-back.
Thompson did play in centre midfield last season and took to the role.
He was linked to a few big clubs earlier in his career and could be one of the better players in League One.
But I’m dubious. Injuries have had such a toll on him that I don’t know how much of an impact it will have on his development.
He’s definitely got the ability, the mindset and the work-rate, and that’s why the fans did take to him so well.
When Swindon lose, you can see how much it affects him in his tone.