Pompey new boys in frame for Checkatrade unveiling

The Fratton faithful will tonight be handed first glimpses of new recruits Sylvain Leslandes and Connor Ronan.

Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 9:00 am
Sylvain Deslandes, left, and Connor Ronan Picture: Colin Farmery

Kenny Jackett has confirmed the Wolves loanees are in the Blues’ 18-man squad for this evening’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Chelsea under-21s (7.45pm).

With Brandon Haunstrup injured, Leslandes will vie with Dion Donohue for the left-back spot.

While the diminutive Ronan is challenging for an attacking-midfielder role, potentially as the number 10.

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Kal Naismith is also available having recovered from a knee problem, although Stuart O’Keefe is not ready to return from an adductor injury.

Yet many eyes will be on the young Wolves pair.

Jackett said: ‘They will certainly be in the 18 and are ready to play, definitely.

‘They have been here since last Thursday so they have done enough and been around enough to play.

‘The left-back position has been something which has troubled us and, with Brandon’s injury, we didn’t want to get caught when the window closes without enough specialist players in that position.

‘I felt Sylvain was someone who could help us and also develop.

‘He has pace, he has power, he has the ability to play left-back and also left centre-half, and is physically strong and capable of playing at League One.

‘Connor is a talented player, an attacking midfielder who can play wide as well.

‘He is something we haven’t necessarily got. I think he can link midfield and attack very well and will complement the players around us.

‘He has good control and pace and we feel if we can get him the ball in the right areas then he can create and score goals.

‘Connor can play in the attacking three and possibly central midfield as well.

‘When he gets going and gets his confidence, I would feel he can play behind the striker, but certainly in the attacking three.’

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s selection will be dictated by their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with Arsenal tomorrow night.

In a 4-0 victory over MK Dons in the previous round of the Checkatrade Trophy, they included £33m striker Michy Batshuayi and Brazilian full-back Kenedy.

However, both could be required for tomorrow’s Stamford Bridge clash.

Instead, the likes of full Welsh international Ethan Ampadu and England youth silverware winners George McEachran and Dujon Sterling may feature at Fratton Park.