Jackett: Pompey door open for Oxlade-Chamberlain

CHRISTIAN OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN could still have a Pompey future.

Tuesday, 3rd July 2018, 6:12 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:04 pm
Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain in pre-season action last summer

That is the verdict of Kenny Jackett, who continues to hold the door ajar for the 20-year-old talent.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is currently out of contract following two years as a professional.

His sole first-team outing arrived in September 2015, appearing as a substitute in a 2-0 Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat at Exeter.

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However, the versatile performer's recent progress has been checked by the broken leg sustained during a shooting session in April.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is still another three weeks from a training return, while didn't travel with the squad to Ireland as he continues rehabilitation at home.

But Jackett is monitoring his fitness progress - with one eye on offered a new deal.

Pompey's boss said: '˜Christian is still at the club rehabilitating, he will be three weeks off running and we will see how far that extends.

'˜It's important how he looks when he gets back, but we also need to give him enough time.

'˜It was quite a serious injury and he needs time to rehabilitate, get back and then show his best.

'˜There is still an opportunity for a new deal - and he has every chance.

'˜We'll see him back in training first, we'll assess him, he's three weeks off running so it's not like things are going to suddenly change quickly within a month.'

Oxlade-Chamberlain has already missed the tour to Ireland, which consisted of Monday night's match at Cork City.

Jackett utilised 22 members of his playing squad in that 4-1 victory, with goals from Christian Burgess, Jamal Lowe and Conor Chaplin (two).

Among them were first-year professionals Matt Casey and Dan Smith, along with academy youngsters Freddie Reid and Joe Dandy.

Unfortunately, the opportunity was not there for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has played in previous Pompey pre-seasons.

When he returns, Jackett has earmarked the academy product for a loan spell in non-league to aid his development.

Firstly, however, the Blues boss wants to assess his injury recovery.

He added: '˜He will need to come back training for at least a month.

'˜With the non-league deadline longer, maybe he can go out and play some games as well.

'˜Then, at the right time, hopefully play some reserve games for us.'