KENNY JACKETT has revealed the details of his squad plans for next season.
The Pompey boss wants to operate with 24 players in his first-team set-up as he aims to deliver Championship football.
That would means adding as many as seven new faces to his existing set-up before the close of the transfer window in August 9.
Third-year scholars Matt Casey and Dan Smith are emerging talents who could come into that equation, after being handed deals.
Jackett has indicated he’s looking for quality additions to bolster the side who finished eighth in his maiden season at Fratton Park.
There is also the option of taking in some additional loans to supplement the permanent members of staff.
Jackett outlined how he would see that figure working to give his side the depth and cover he’s looking for.
He said: ‘The squad side I want would be 24 – two in each position, one extra striker and one extra goalkeeper.
‘That’s the optimum. Some of those could be out on loan at any time.
‘We’ve got 17 at the moment.
‘There’s two third-year scholars, too, who we will have a look at in pre-season.
‘That has to be supplemented with some young players, but it’s not young players for the sake of it.
‘It has to be young players who you feel can contribute.
‘There’s no point in taking the players for the sake of it.
‘It’s got to be optimum squad planning.
‘That’s an optimum number on squad planning, how you work off that in games and loaning players out is about making the squad as strong as possible.’
The loan market is again set to play an important role in Jackett’s plans next season,
Pompey had seven loan players within their ranks this term.
Matty Kennedy, Connor Ronan, Stephen Henderson, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, Sylvain Deslandes, Anton Walkes and Stuart O’Keefe made up that number.
The likes of Theo Widdrington, Jez Bedford and Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain spent time out on loan at non-league level. With the opportunity of an instant recall for players on loan outside of the Football League, that is an avenue Jackett is prepared to go down again.
He added: ‘If you can plan early one or two can go out.
‘If they are out in the league it’s until Christmas minimum.
‘That’s okay because if they are doing well at a club you can call them back with the momentum of having played games.
‘Similarly, if they go out to the National League the recall after 28 days is instant.
‘To use the loan system to your club’s advantage is the ideal situation. You want to use it to the club’s advantage and the player’s.
‘They can get the games and experience, particularly the young players, and you’re protecting the club with a recall situation which can strengthen you.’