Gareth Evans has hailed Conor Chaplin’s commitment to Pompey.
And he is convinced the youngster’s new deal augers well for the club’s future, irrespective of how long they can retain their prized asset.
His finishing has improved, he is also better at holding the ball up, which I don’t think was a strength of his when I first arrivedGareth Evans
Chaplin last week extended his Fratton Park contract until the summer of 2019.
It represents a 12-month addition to the deal he signed in September 2015 as the striker continues to shine for the Blues.
Since his own arrival at Pompey in the summer of 2015, Evans has watched the 19-year-old blossom in the first-team environment.
He currently has four goals this season, including a strike in last Saturday’s defeat to Notts County.
And Evans is delighted to see his team-mate pledge his future to the club.
He said: ‘It’s great news for the club, although the announcement was a bit of a surprise to us – Chappers hasn’t really spoken of it too much to the lads.
‘However, it is not a surprise in the sense it is fully justified and deserved.
‘We can see the qualities he has and it can only be good for the club as a whole to tie down players like Conor.
‘His finishing has improved, he is also better at holding the ball up, which I don’t think was a strength of his when I first arrived.
‘It’s not only that, he’s a lovely lad to have around the place, everyone likes him, everyone enjoys his company, and it’s really good for Portsmouth to have a player like him in the box.
‘Conor is only young and has a long time to go in terms of getting to where he wants to be. He is going to get there and if he leaves then the club will make a fortune in selling him, so it’s good news all the way.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if there were bids for him in January or at the end of the season – and if they do the club is going to do well financially out of it.
‘Hopefully, though, he will stay and the club moves through the leagues.’
Chaplin slid home Gary Roberts’ pass to level for Pompey against the Magpies on Saturday.
However, it was a mixed bag from the teenager, who had previously missed two gilt-edged chances during the first half.
Despite his radar being unusually out of synch, the front man refused to let his confidence be dented.
And Evans believes Chaplin once again demonstrated his impressive qualities.
He added: ‘It’s the sign of a good striker.
‘Strikers miss chances, they are not going to put every one away, and on Saturday Conor kept plugging away.
‘It doesn’t seem to bother him because every time he misses one he seems to end up scoring a few minutes later.
‘Conor doesn’t get too bogged down.
‘He misses chances in training like everyone – and two minutes later will still put it into the net.’