Pompey defender Adam Webster attracting interest
Adam Webster is attracting transfer interest.
But Paul Cook is adamant the club does not want to let their prized asset depart.
The 21-year-old has been a revelation for the Blues this season – thriving in his favoured central defensive role.
On the back of an impressive finale to last term, Webster signed a new two-year deal in June.
The youngster has subsequently established himself as a regular in Cook’s side, making 34 appearances and scoring twice.
Admiring glances have already been cast by a number of clubs.
Yet Cook intends to keep the talented home-grown defender.
He said: ‘Adam is a great kid and is having a fantastic year.
‘The best thing about him, Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke is they will only get better and stronger with experience as they get older.
‘Great credit to them, they are so refreshing as players – and Adam is having a really outstanding season.
‘Of course there is going to be interest in him, if there’s not it is a crime against scouting and recruitment.
‘To be fair to the club, it is not looking to sell anyone.
‘The club is not looking to do anything other than make us a stronger club and be better.
‘We don’t want to lose any players, we want to add to what we have got,’
Webster has amassed 80 appearances since making his Pompey debut under Michael Appleton in January 2012.
Yet before the current campaign the majority of his outings were either at right-back or left-back.
It was last season’s appointment of Gary Waddock as caretaker boss which turned around Webster’s Blues career.
Following the departure of Andy Awford, the youngster from West Wittering operated in the centre of defence for the final four matches.
So impressive were his displays, he was handed a new deal in the summer.
Webster had to dislodge the early-season partnership of Burgess and Clarke before breaking into Cook’s side in October.
Since that moment he has featured in 28 of Pompey’s last 30 fixtures, continuing to catch the eye. And for Cook, the emergence of Webster demonstrates there are still plenty of lower league gems to be gathered.
He added: ‘I think the whole recruitment side in England is so exaggerated.
‘There are so many people getting paid money for fun and I don’t think we are giving players the chances who should be.
‘All of a sudden, you see the English national team, how many are coming through from academies?
‘You have Jamie Vardy and Charlie Austin up front.
‘Yet clubs are spending multi-million pounds on academies and agents and contracts.
‘And they think it is worth it.’