Jackett: Pompey have to come first over loans

Kenny Jackett will not rush to send his players out on loan.

Monday, 11th June 2018, 10:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:45 pm
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Pompey boss is waiting to see how his own summer recruitment develops before considering sending his own men out to gain experience.

Jackett has already brought in four players – with Tom Naylor’s arrival followed by Ronan Curtis’ move to Fratton Park being sealed as the international transfer window opened on Saturday.

With non-league prospect Louis Dennis and Craig MacGillivray already over the line, it represents a busy period of recruitment by the Blues boss.

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Adam May is one player who may benefit from a loan spell - but only if the Pompey squad is strong enough. Picture: Joe Pepler

Those additions are set to be followed by left-back Lee Brown, who has left Bristol Rovers, and versatile Spurs man Anton Walkes, who was at Fratton Park on loan last season.

They would take Jackett’s numbers to 22 – two short of the 24-man squad he has previously indicated he would ideally like to work with.

Pompey are in the market for additional pace up front but there remains a question mark over the future of homegrown talent Conor Chaplin.

Loans are likely to play a factor in Jackett getting the squad depth he’s searching for with EFL clubs able to sign loan players until August 31 – with the main window closing on August 9.

And the roles of third-year scholars Matt Casey and Dan Smith will be assessed in pre-season, while Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain is being assisted in his recovery from a broken leg after his contract came to a close.

Jackett underlined his first concern has to be considering his own options before sending players out.

He said: ‘It depends on our own squad strength. I don’t want to leave the club short. I do want to have options in the squad. I want to work up to a squad of 22, 23 and 24 players.

‘You’re only going to be as good as your weakest link in football and we’re aware of that. It’s not about your best player – it’s quite often about your worst.

‘If you have eight good players in your team and three who aren’t the best, it’s very easy to fall under those circumstances and finish half way in the league.

‘We want the bottom of our group to raise higher, definitely.’

Keeper Alex Bass certainly looks set to go out on loan, while Pompey will have three left-backs when Brown arrives to join Brandon Haunstrup and Dion Donohue. Adam May could be another option to go out after signing a new two-year deal, though Jackett sees him being an asset for the club moving forward.

He added: ‘For players like Adam, I’ve got a lot of time for him.

‘I think he’s getting stronger and more confident all the time.

‘He’s at a development age at 20 and I think Portsmouth are going to get the benefit of that in seasons to come.

‘I think, for Adam, he had enough games last year and will be more confident, stronger and I’m looking for improvement.

‘But we know where we are in terms of recruitment and we know what we need.’