Comment: Pompey need Con artistry

Pompey striker Conor Chaplin scored twice in the 2-1 win against Leyton Orient on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey striker Conor Chaplin scored twice in the 2-1 win against Leyton Orient on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey player Gareth Evans

Pompey Christmas quiz: Gareth Evans

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The best finisher outside of the Premier League.

And one day Conor Chaplin could well end up in the top flight.

But Pompey have to do everything within their power to ensure the teenage striker isn’t moving up the English football ladder this month.

Stepping up a division in a Blues shirt after a memorable campaign would be the ideal time for the 19-year-old to jump up a level.

Branding the Academy graduate the best marksman outside the top flight is quite a statement from Paul Cook.

The natural follow-up is why has someone afforded such lofty status by his manager not started for eight games?

Fitting within the framework of Cook’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation and not being a natural hold-up front man has been a major factor, no doubt.

But Chaplin looks set to feature more prominently in the next section of the chase for automatic promotion.

That was the indication Cook made after two textbook examples of the youngster’s predatory work against Leyton Orient, an optimistic remark when it comes to his future.

Suitors have and will continue to make advances for Pompey’s most bankable asset.

How they are dealt will be telling when it comes to promotion ambitions.