Michael Smith joins select Pompey group – pick your best and worst

Michael Smith celebrates his maiden goal for Pompey with Gary Roberts Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Smith celebrates his maiden goal for Pompey with Gary Roberts Picture: Joe Pepler
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Michael Smith joined a select Pompey grouping when he netted in the 3-1 victory over Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

The striker’s 45th-minute header helped the Blues return to the League Two play-off places.

But he also earned himself a right of passage to the list of loan front men who have scored for the club since relegation from the Premier League in 2010.

After the Blues’ departure from the top flight, 13 strikers have donned the star & crescent while owned by another club.

Some have been a success, like current fans’ favourite Marc McNulty, but the majority have been flops as they have struggled to make their mark at PO4.

Of those 13 who have joined on loan in the six seasons since the lofty heights of the Premier League, 11 registered goals for the club.

However, only 33 goals have come from those jettisoned in from afar to aid the Blues, with McNulty – who also netted in Saturday’s triumph over Rovers – contributing eight of those efforts.

And if you take the likes of Jake Jervis (4), Chris Maguire (3) and Caolan Lavery (4) out of the equation – players who impressed while temporarily with Pompey – then it makes for a poor return.

A mere 14 goals were scored by the other nine thrust upon us, with Manchester City loanee Luca Scapuzzi and Paul McCallum (West Ham) failing to register during their brief spells on the south coast.

Of course, it’s only fair to point out the difficulties of these types of signings during the course of a season.

Players brought in on loan are generally out of the first-team picture at their parent clubs and, understandably, short of game time and confidence in front of goal.

Also, it’s not always easy coming into a new club and having a short period of time to make an impact.

Opportunities, meanwhile, may be limited for one thing or another.

Remember, McCallum got sent off in only his second substitute’s appearance for Pompey against Southend on Saturday, January 24, 2015, and didn’t resurface again until the 2-2 draw with Cheltenham on March 17.

Meanwhile, also last season, Swindon loanee Miles Storey fell dramatically out of favour under Andy Awford despite calls from the fans to play him more regularly.

Jayden Stockley also cut a frustrated figure at Fratton Park, with injury preventing him from adding to his two goals for Paul Cook’s side in the current campaign.

Striker No13 Smith was brought in on transfer deadline day to fill the void left by Stockley’s return to Bournemouth.

He’s already up and running on the goal front.

And Cook will be hoping he joins the small list of Pompey loan success stories as he plots Pompey’s exit from League Two.

Vote for your best and worst Pompey loan strikers here.