Pompey new boy out to follow French greats

His countrymen number some of the finest players to wear royal blue.

Monday, 8th January 2018, 9:00 am
Sylvain Deslandes. Picture: Colin Farmery

Now Sylvain Deslandes has set his sights on following in the footsteps of some of the top Frenchmen to don a Pompey shirt.

Deslandes grew up in the north west of his native country watching the Blues at the height of their Premier League adventure.

The likes of Sylvain Distin and Lassana Diarra undoubtedly go down as being at the very pinnacle of the most talented players at Fratton Park in the modern era.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Younes Kaboul and Frederic Piquionne are others of French birth to impress in their time at PO4.

They are all offering inspiration for Deslandes – who has big hopes for what he can achieve across the second half of the season following his loan arrival from Wolves.

Deslandes said: ‘I know this is a big club which was in the Premier League.

‘It is one of the biggest clubs in this league and, from what I’ve seen, the club doesn’t belong to this league.

‘In France, I’d heard of Portsmouth and watched them on TV.

‘I watched them in the Premier League and I admired the French players here because they are top, top players. I’d hope to be like them one day.’

With home crowds at present not too far below the number who visited Fratton Park in the Premier League, Deslandes is looking forward to the opportunity of turning out in front of the Pompey faithful.

The left-back has noted attendances have topped 18,000 this term in League One – a figure which generates excitement rather than trepidation in the 20-year-old.

Deslandes is adamant he views featuring in front of a strong following as something he will react positively to.

He said: ‘I’d seen the crowd is 18,000 here.

‘That’s very good for a club to have fans who support every time – and even away from home.

‘It’s good for the club to have that support because in the tough times it makes a difference.

‘When I go on the pitch I’m fully focused.

‘The support is good and maybe some players need that but, for me, I’m fully focused on my job and what I have to do.

‘I concentrate on my job with no distractions.’

Deslandes’ Pompey move sees him once again link up with the man who brought him to England.

Kenny Jackett signed the former Caen man in 2015 and gave him a chance with Wolves.

Deslandes is glad to be linking up again with a manager he has a strong understanding with.

He said: ‘The manager is close to the players. He’s always been close to me at Wolves.

‘He likes to talk to the players and help them to get better – especially if they are young.

‘So it’s really good for me to be here. It is important and good because I know what he wants from me.

‘I know what he wants from the position and I can play that way.’