The Insider: Portsmouth loanee has raw attributes to have decent career after arriving from Birmingham

Viv Solomon-Otabor is still waiting to make his Pompey debut.

Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 2:25 pm
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 10:11 am
Viv Solomon-Otabor awaits his Pompey debut. Picture: Joe Pepler

The winger completed an 11th-hour January deadline-day loan move from Birmingham City for the remainder of the season.

Solomon-Otabor watched the Blues’ 1-1 draw with Doncaster from the Fratton Park directors’ box having not trained with his new side.

He was then ineligible for the 2-0 FA Cup fourth-round replay defeat at QPR before being an unused substitute in the 1-1 stalemate at Plymouth last weekend.

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However, with boss Kenny Jackett considering giving either Ronan Curtis or Jamal Lowe a rest, that could see Solomon-Otabor make his Pompey bow against Southend on Saturday.

We got the lowdown from the Birmingham Mail’s Brian Dick on how the 23-year-old performed during the first half of the campaign at St. Andrew’s….

Solomon-Otabor spent last season on loan at Blackpool. When he arrived back, the thinking was he’d developed a lot in League One.

They looked at him thinking he could make a decent contribution this season.

He started off really well, coming on as a substitute on the opening day of the campaign and scored.

It looked like a poachers goal, a calm finish and it seemed like he had developed.

But then Birmingham settled down a fairly static starting XI and Solomon-Otabor was always on the bench.

Garry Monk opted for Jacques Maghoma was on one wing and Jota on the opposite.

That meant Solomon-Otabor’s chances dried up a little bit. 

His last appearance in the Championship was against Hull in November. 

Solomon-Otabor came off the bench in the first half but was then substituted after the break, which would have a pretty deflating impact on anyone. 

Any hope of getting rhythm this season went because of a lack of opportunities.

Because Solomon-Otabor is in the last year of his contract there was pressure on him to get some football.

With Blues signing another wide player in Kerim Mrabti last month, as well as having Conor Mahoney on the bench, the competition got too much for him. 

I’m wondering if Solomon-Otabor is still quite raw and he still needs some time to find his game a little bit and then kick on because he has undoubtedly got potential. 

He has got pace and power – he is very, very quick.

Maybe being hypercritical, he could brush up his decision-making in the final third.

But he has got all of the raw attributes to go on and have a decent career. 

I did expect Solomon-Otabor to go out on loan given Birmingham had five wingers and he hasn't played very much.

He is out of contract at the end of the season and I’d say he probably will be released.

That’s based on nothing else other than Monk hasn’t used him much this season, but it might depend on the situation with the Football League and transfer embargoes in the summer.