Kenny Jackett hopes Pompey can build their future around Matt Clarke.
The centre-back penned a one-year contract extension earlier this week that will keep him at Fratton Park until 2020.
Clarke has made 101 appearances for the Blues – despite only being 21.
Having been linked with the likes of Watford, Brighton and Wolves, Jackett is delighted to have tied down the club’s prized asset.
And the boss believes Clarke can be a central figure in helping Pompey achieve promotion into the Championship.
‘The contract came together this week, which is really good and we’re pleased for one of our better younger players’ said Jackett.
‘As a club you would always want to have a young group who can continue to improve together – Matt comes into that equation.
‘We certainly hope (Pompey can build around Clarke).
‘We’re trying to build a side that can be one of the best in the league and one of the three teams who can get into the Championship.
‘With Matt signing, that certainly helps us.
‘Is any player always going to stay at one club or can they be picked off?
‘Of course they can, that’s the case with any club.’
Clarke has formed a solid understanding with Christian Burgess in the centre of the Blues’ defence.
Jackett saluted that partnership and highlighted the good group of defenders at his disposal.
‘It’s a good partnership. With Anton Walkes and Nathan Thompson around them, Dion Donohue imposing himself, Sylvain Deslandes coming in and Jack Whatmough and Brandon Haunstrup coming back from injury, there’s already a good group there.’