Not a marquee signing - but new Pompey face could be a lot better
There's a fair chance you may never have heard of Tom Naylor before today.
Which could have led to a slightly underwhelmed response to his name being announced as the identity of the heavy-hitting midfielder Kenny Jackett has been searching for.
Players like Joe Ledley were being bandied around among supporters and fly-by-night Twitter transfer rumour pages. It’s a player who’s been plying his trade with unfashionable success story Burton Albion, however, the Pompey boss has opted for to bolster his midfield resources.
But the anticipated cries of indignation at being mis-sold a marquee signing never quite materialised.
And it’s likely that’s because when fans began to do their homework on Pompey’s fourth summer arrival, they would’ve liked what they read and saw.
A basic Google search would’ve quickly unearthed the fact big League One favourites Sunderland were keen on bringing in the 26-year-old.
Delving a little deeper then revealed Naylor had picked up 66 appearances in the Championship over the past couple of seasons – supplemented by eight second-tier games with Derby as a youngster.
Then came the very audible disappointment being aired by Brewers fans as they reacted to the news of Naylor’s exit – and there’s nothing quite like hearing fan angst over a player’s exit to reassure followers over a new arrival.
Digging further then threw up a ringing endorsement from a Burton Mail journalist, which really started to pique the curiosity of Pompey followers.
Hearing Nigel Clough was prepared to make the Nottinghamshire lad his top earner to keep him at the Pirelli Stadium was music to the ears of the Fratton Faithful.
Then came the footage of the back-to-back promotion winner scoring, tackling and pinging a ball around like Paul Scholes through, the admittedly dangerous medium, of an agents’s video to seriously whet the appetite
By the time it got around to the player himself speaking, the penny had dropped for most that things were looking pretty promising.
But just to seal the deal, Naylor confirmed when Pompey came knocking theirs was the only offer worth considering – to the detriment of Championship suitors.
He may not be the instantly-recognisable name fans anticipated – but Naylor may just turn out to be a lot better.