Adam Webster is destined for bigger things.
That is the verdict of Jack Whatmough, who has watched his team-mate blossom under the guidance of Paul Cook.
Webster has finally established himself as a Pompey first-team regular – and in his preferred position at the centre of the defence.
The 21-year-old has appeared in 17 of the Blues’ last 18 fixtures, during which his only absence has been courtesy of a suspension.
The eye-catching progress has been viewed with interest by Whatmough, who has been a Fratton Park spectator during his recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury.
Yet Webster’s encouraging development has not surprised his fellow central defender who served in the Academy age group below growing up.
Coming through the ranks he has been a year above me and it has always been great to watch him do well, I am looking up to him a bitJack Whatmough
And Whatmough is convinced the future is bright for his colleague.
He said: ‘While injured I regularly attended Fratton Park matches and have been watching the team closely.
‘I have always said Adam is a good player and we will be lucky to keep hold of him. He deserves everything he is getting.
‘He works so hard on and off the pitch and I hope he goes on to do well and make a good career in football because he is definitely capable.
‘In every game you can see he is getting more confident.
‘Coming through the ranks he has been a year above me and it has always been great to watch him do well, I am looking up to him a bit.
‘I think everyone knew from when he was younger that he was always going to be as good as he is now. He will only get better as well.
‘After a loan at Aldershot he has returned to Pompey and been absolutely brilliant in every game he has played, hopefully we can keep hold of him.
‘We are all hoping he can carry on playing really well and performing like that for Pompey.’
Effectively the youngster from West Wittering earned his chance at the end of last season following Whatmough’s injury.
Caretaker boss named Webster in the side for the final four matches. Such was his outstanding level of performance, he earned a two-year deal off the back of it.
Meanwhile, Whatmough is stepping up his return from his spell on the sidelines during a loan with the Hawks.
On Saturday he completed a first 90 minutes since March during their 1-0 win over Basingstoke.
An initial one-month loan will end after this weekend – and should the Gosport youngster return to Pompey he is looking forward to again competing for a place.
He added: ‘I have a big point to prove to get into that squad – and I like competition.
‘Adam, Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke have been doing really well.
‘I’m looking forward to fitting into the style of play the gaffer likes, I believe I can play how he wants, it suits me.
‘It will be tough to pick a defensive centre half, though, because there are four good players there. So good luck to the gaffer!’