Paul Cook identifying Pompey stars of tomorrow – today

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Paul Cook has signed 17 players since becoming manager in the summer
  • Framework currently being put into place to recruit players for the future
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As a watching Liverpool fan, the arrival of Jurgen Klopp was surveyed with curiosity.

As an on-looking football manager, the German’s beliefs on player recruitment was greeted with applause.

Everyone in Pompey could recruit League Two players couldn’t they? But who are going to be the best ones tomorrow? It’s something we are looking at now

Paul Cook

Paul Cook has been intrigued by Klopp’s Anfield appointment on several levels.

Yet it is the former Borussia Dortmund boss’ words on the method of identifying talent which really struck a cord with the Scouser.

Upon his May arrival, Cook disposed of head of recruitment Andy Melville following only 79 days in the role.

There has yet to be a replacement, with the initial burst of focus concentrating on assembling a first-team squad capable of winning promotion from League Two this term.

However, Cook insists the issue of recruitment is being worked upon – employing sentiments recently echoed by Klopp.

Pompey’s manager said: ‘Recruitment today is a word overused in football because everyone speaks about it like it’s an easy job. It is probably the hardest side of the game.

‘There are two types of players to come into a club for me – to make you better and to make the future better.

‘Recently Caelan Lavery has come in as an immediate signing, which is great.

‘But we are also out there looking for a maybe signing or two that could see us develop lads into future good players, so it is about getting the recruitment side of it and the balance right.

‘If you look at Klopp’s quotes when he arrived at Liverpool, I thought they were absolutely fantastic.

‘He stated how everyone knows who the best players are in the world today – but who are going to be the ones for tomorrow?

‘What a good point. Everyone in Pompey could recruit League Two players couldn’t they? But who are going to be the best ones tomorrow? It’s something we are looking at now.

‘We don’t have a head of recruitment at the minute but have got a recruitment process going on and it’s something I really want to positively do here so the future is better for Portsmouth Football Club.

‘A lot of our recruitment has been done properly for instant success. That’s the way the game is now.

‘What we are trying to do is have a little bit of an eye on tomorrow as well as today. We are not stupid, we know what losing runs can do for managers now.

‘But you have got to find players that are going to be better tomorrow.

‘Klopp’s words were great, how can we see past today and look to tomorrow?’

Cook has brought in 17 players to transform Pompey’s first team squad but he insists behind-the-scenes plans are being put into place for the long-term.

He added: ‘We are working hard on recruitment and I don’t want to speak too much about it because at the minute we are going through a process of putting all these things in place.

‘It is on-going as we speak, the wheels are just being set in motion.

‘If you can get players who aren’t the best ones today that are going to be good tomorrow you have got a great chance.’