Pompey mull over permanent stay for loanee

Anton Walkes. Picture: Joe Pepler
Anton Walkes. Picture: Joe Pepler
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KENNY JACKETT is weighing up making Anton Walkes a permanent Fratton Park presence.

The 21-year-old has impressed Pompey’s boss during a loan spell curtailed by injury.

When people ask about the midfield equation, we found a little niche for him and got some wins

Kenny Jackett

With the Blues possessing an option on Walkes under terms of the arrangement with parent club Spurs, Jackett has the opportunity to retain the versatile performer.

Walkes has been sidelined by the hamstring injury sustained at Rochdale earlier this month and will not play again this season.

Regardless, Jackett speaks highly of the White Hart Lane youth product, with the Blues missing his first-team influence.

And Pompey’s boss is mulling over whether to recruit him on a permanent basis.

He said: ‘I have been impressed with Anton, he has been good for us.

‘He is a good, young man who has kept his head down and worked hard. I would think he’s got a lot out of the loan.

‘Unfortunately the injury has ended his season, even so he has built on his arrival quite well showing good versatility.

‘We will have to see (about signing him) in the summer. In two weeks we will have to see.

‘We just have to finish our season strongly, there hasn’t been anything discussed yet.

‘There’s no set fee, nothing has been approached yet or done. Anton has done well since he has been here so we’ll see what the window brings when it opens.

‘We’ll see, it very much depends on his parent club, who would be in the driving seat obviously, and Anton the player himself.

‘We will see in the summer.’

Walkes is contracted to Spurs until the summer of 2019.

His sole appearance for the Premier League club arrived in September 2016, as a substitute in a League Cup match against Gillingham.

Walkes then spent a season on loan at MLS side Atlanta United, before arriving at Fratton Park in January.

Scoring on his Blues debut against Doncaster, he established himself as a regular at right-back – before a successful switch to a holding midfield role.

Jackett added: ‘He has done well and shown some flexibility as well, at right-back, right centre-back and holding midfield.

‘It was quite a good Easter weekend for us against Walsall and Wigan, with strong performances, and Anton contributed.

‘I think we’ve missed him. When people ask about the midfield equation, we found a little niche for him and got some wins, he helped us. So the answer to that particular question crossed over onto him.

‘It’s a shame about the injury towards the end, but he had some good games for us.

‘He probably struggled at Southend a little bit, but there have not been many games he has struggled in, not many at all.’