Pompey boss: I don't like loans
Paul Cook pledged to focus on permanent Pompey arrivals this summer and insisted: I don't like loans.
The Blues boss recruited 10 loanees this season to bolster a squad which reached the League Two play-offs.
They were primarily employed to fill the goalkeeping and striking spots, positions urgently requiring attention this close season.
Matt Clarke will turn his temporary stay into a permanent one as the makeweight in the transfer of Adam Webster to Ipswich.
The likes of Caolan Lavery, Marc McNulty, Ryan Fulton and Michael Smith also impressed during their Fratton Park stays.
But Cook is keen to create a Pompey squad with no reliance on other club’s players.
He said: ‘I don’t like loans.
‘I just want our own players, I want our own identity as a club.
‘We have had so many young players coming through lately and need to go into the market and invest in the right age group of players and the right work ethic in players, all these balances.
‘You are always looking at the loan market, that is the reality of it, but you are only helping the parent club.
‘One of the reasons you bring loans in is because they make you better. If the squad was good enough you wouldn’t be in the loan market.
‘Take Ben Davies, for example. We’ve had no right-back cover all year so had no choice but to bring Kieron Freeman in.
‘But I am not a great advocate of the loan market – I would rather have our own players, I would rather have Adam May on the bench than someone else.
‘In the second leg against Plymouth I left Conor Wilkinson off the bench.
‘Conor Chaplin has been with us all season, you look at his goals, so I was trying to stick with my own players at that point. I have to give them the feeling they trust me as well.
‘The thing is, with loans it is clubs wanting to use you to develop their players.
‘That’s okay, I wanted to use Gosport when we sent Adam May there to develop, you are always trying to get everything right.
‘The important thing for us is we sign players we need.’
Others to spend loan time at Fratton Park this season were Jayden Stockley, Aaron McCarey, Freeman, Wilkinson and Ryan Allsop.
Strikers Smith and McNulty remain on Cook’s radar, yet both have 12 months remaining on their contracts at Swindon and Sheffield United respectively.
Cook added: ‘McNulty’s goal ratio was fantastic, Matt Clarke was outstanding, Fulton was doing well before his injury.
‘Your McNultys and Smiths are all good players at this level and we are actively looking at them.
‘Sparky loves it here. This is the dressing room you are trying to create among a group of 20-24 players. It’s never as easy as people think.’