Holmes completes Pompey switch

Ricky Holmes has agreed terms to join Pompey today
Ricky Holmes has agreed terms to join Pompey today
Jamal Lowe celebrates his goal against Scunthorpe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey winger was a ‘wounded animal’ after dropping out of Football League

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Pompey have completed the signing of Ricky Holmes.

The winger has penned a two-year deal with the Blues, ending a pursuit that began back in May.

The 26-year-old had long been earmarked by Guy Whittingham to add width down the right flank.

The move was held up by queries over his fitness after Holmes underwent foot surgery in February following the recurrence of an injury.

However, as revealed by The News earlier this week, Holmes’ return on Tuesday night from a holiday in Ibiza enabled the deal to progress towards today’s conclusion.

The former Barnet man had made no secret of his desire to join Pompey ahead of the likes of Rotherham, Burton, Gillingham and Southend.

It was a determination which kept the switch alive, even when it was put on hold while Whittingham himself was on a fortnight’s holiday in Majorca.

Now the winger’s arrival is secured, taking the number of recruits in a busy summer for Whittingham to 14.

With the Pompey boss close to reaching his playing budget ceiling, there is unlikely to be many more signings before the start of the new season.

However, there will still be room to accommodate any pre-season triallists should they impress.

The loan market will also be explored in an attempt to supplement the squad ahead of the August 3 opener at home to Oxford.

In the meantime, the Blues’ attacking options have been bolstered by the capture of Holmes.

A skilful wide man, he is also capable of operating behind the striker and was a firm favourite during his three seasons with Barnet.

Having come through the ranks at Chelmsford, he joined the League Two side on a free transfer in the summer of 2010, eager to make his name in professional football.

Holmes went on to amass 104 appearances for the Bees, scoring 17 goals, during their constant battles to remain in the Football League.

Last season he chalked up 27 appearances, all in the starting line-up, scoring five times in the process.

That goal tally included a hat-trick in a 3-2 success at Burton in December, but he would not play again after February.

Holmes missed the remainder of the season following the recurrence of a foot injury suffered two years earlier.

A screw implanted in a broken fifth metatarsal snapped and, with the injury not having completely healed, he underwent surgery.

The wide man’s arrival gives Whittingham a first-team squad of 17, with a five-man development group on top of that.

Other midfielders to pledge their Fratton futures this summer include Johnny Ertl, Andy Barcham, Romain Padovani and Danny East.

They join Jed Wallace as options for the season ahead.