New recruit tipped for stardom

Jed Wallace has been backed to be a hit at Pompey Picture: James Boyes
Jed Wallace has been backed to be a hit at Pompey Picture: James Boyes
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Former Pompey striker Jermain Defoe

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Pompey’s latest recruit has been tipped to go on to make a big name for himself at Fratton Park.

Lewes boss Steve King has helped nurture Jed Wallace at the Sussex club and played an instrumental role in the 17-year-old midfielder opting to join Pompey rather than Leeds or Newcastle who were also chasing his signature.

Wallace is expected to pen a three-year deal at Fratton Park.

The Blues will play a friendly with the Isthmian League outfit in the future as Lewes were not entitled to a transfer fee.

And King feels Pompey have signed a promising talent after boss Steve Cotterill ran the rule over Wallace at first hand in the club’s recent behind-closed-doors game with Swindon.

King said: ‘He’s got a bit of everything. He’s a box-to-box player, he can put his foot in, he can tackle, he’s got good energy and he’s a very good 17-year-old.

‘I don’t know how long it will take him to get into Portsmouth’s first team – that’s for Steve Cotterill to decide. But I think he’s got the lot and he’s only going to get better.

‘I always knew that he would make it into the Football League, without a shadow of a doubt.

‘He’s about 5ft 11in and he will fill out as he develops. He wants to learn, he’s got a great attitude and he’s got a bit about him.’

Wallace underwent a medical yesterday and is expected to join Andy Awford’s Academy ranks, with a view to being promoted to the first-team squad in due course.

King added: ‘He had a number of clubs chasing him but I just felt Portsmouth was the right environment for him and I think it’s the right place for him to start his professional career.

‘I don’t stand in anyone’s way and he wants to progress. He’s a good lad who works very hard at his game and it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.’