Nathan Thompson's Portsmouth arrival delivered an important statement - Brian Howard

Nathan Thompson is heading for the Fratton Park exit, but his former agent Brian Howard believes he was an important signing. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nathan Thompson is heading for the Fratton Park exit, but his former agent Brian Howard believes he was an important signing. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Kenny Jackett delivered a crucial signal of intent when Nathan Thompson was unveiled as his first Pompey signing.

That’s the verdict of Brian Howard, who oversaw the right-back’s arrival in June 2017.

At the time, Pompey’s former skipper acted as Thompson’s agent, driving the search for a new club following a Swindon exit.

After becoming Jackett’s maiden recruit having replaced Paul Cook, Thompson totalled 78 appearances and one goal.

Next month he will leave Fratton Park after rejecting a new deal.

And Howard believes the 28-year-old represented a key signing.

He said: ‘I did the deal to bring Nathan into the club, although we are not together now.

‘I remember meeting the gaffer at the Hilton Hotel in Newbury – the day after Nathan’s wedding! It was early Sunday morning, just before Nathan went on honeymoon.

‘He was the manager’s first signing and an important one in that he can play right-back, central midfield, centre-half, and has good experience, especially at that level.

‘There was a lot of interest in him at the time. With the gaffer coming in, Nathan kind of set a standard – it was a message that a certain calibre of player would be joining Pompey.

‘I don’t know what the future holds, I don’t talk to Nathan as much any more. He can hold his head high, though, he has done a good job for the club over two years.

‘He was a great first signing for Kenny. That goal at Wembley is something Portsmouth fans will always remember and he will always remember – whatever the future holds.’

Yet while Thompson may have been Jackett’s first signing, he had already been sounded out for a Fratton Park switch by predecessor Paul Cook.

Howard added: ‘The first conversation about Nathan coming to Portsmouth was with Paul.

‘When Paul left, I got a call from Kenny, clearly aware there had already been interest from the club. He also wanted to sign him.

‘It’s not always managers involved in recruitment, the club would have had a list of players which remained on the board when the gaffer came in.

‘He knew Nathan and had always liked him, so was an easy one to get done.’