Pompey’s finest Bosman signings

Paul Merson lifts the Championship trophy in 2003
Paul Merson lifts the Championship trophy in 2003
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Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Bosman Ruling.

On this day back in 1995, Belgian footballer Jean-Marc Bosman emerged from the European Court of Justice with a landmark victory that changed the way footballers were employed.

Kanu celebrates FA Cup glory

Kanu celebrates FA Cup glory

The case – prompted by French side Dunkerque refusing to meet a transfer fee for the then out-of contract RFC Liège player – meant that players could move to a new club at the end of their contract without their old club receiving a fee.

And since then, both players and clubs have benefited from the ruling, including Pompey.

As a result, The News has drawn up its finest free-transfer Pompey starting XI

Let us know if you agree.

Sol Campbell, left, lifts the FA Cup with David James and Sylvain Distin

Sol Campbell, left, lifts the FA Cup with David James and Sylvain Distin

Shaka Hislop

The goalkeeper arrived at Pompey on a free transfer from West Ham in the summer of 2002.

Signed by Harry Redknapp, he quickly established himself as the Blues’ No1 in the Championship-winning campaign.

In recognition for his exploits that season, the Trinidad & Tobago international was named in the first division’s team of the year.

Hislop made 93 appearances during his three-year stay at Fratton Park.

Linvoy Primus

Who knew the legacy Primus would leave when he arrived on a free from Reading in the summer of 2000?

Despite not getting off to the best of starts in a Pompey shirt, after scoring an own goal on his debut against Sheffield United and getting sent off for the first time in his career against Fulham (Novemeber 18, 2000), he went on to make 198 appearances for the Blues.

The London-born defender was a key member of the side that won promotion to the Premier League in 2002/03 season and picked up the fans’ player of the year award as a result.

Sol Campbell

Campbell arrived at Fratton Park in August 2006 from Arsenal and enjoyed a three-year spell at the club, making 95 appearances.

He is, of course, best known for captaining Pompey to the 2008 FA Cup.

Sylvain Distin

The French centre-half moved to Pompey from Manchester City in the summer of 2007.

He immediately made an impact and became a regular, alongside Sol Campbell, in the heart of the Blues defence.

The FA Cup win in 2008 was Distin’s first major honour in English football and his efforts saw him made Blues captain following Campbell’s departure in 2009.

Hermann Hreidarsson

The Icelandic international arrived from Charlton in the summer of 2007, scoring his first goal for the club in the memorable 7-4 victory against Reading.

He was an ever-present figure in the side that lifted the FA Cup in the same season.

Due to injury, Hreidarsson was ruled out of the 2010 Cup final, but stayed at the club following relegation to the Championship that year.

Paul Merson

The now-Sky Sports pundit arrived from Aston Villa in 2002 and made 44 appearances for the Blues, scoring 12 times, as they lifted the 2002-03 Championship title.

The former Arsenal favourite skippered the Blues that season and will forever live in Pompey folklore.

Patrik Berger

After being confined to the bench during his final season at Liverpool, Berger joined Pompey on a free transfer in the summer of 2003.

His first 12 months at Fratton Park was full of notable displays, scoring on his debut against Aston Villa, hitting the winner against former club Liverpool in October and coming away with two assists and a goal to his name in a dominant 6-1 win over Leeds United.

During his two seasons on the south coast, the Czech Republic international scored seven goals for the Blues.

David Norris

After turning down a new two-year deal at Ipswich, Norris came to Fratton Park on a free transfer in June 2011.

In his 40 appearances for Pompey, there is one in particular that stands out.

A spectacular equaliser in the 93rd-minute against Southampton at St. Mary’s which salvaged a 2-2 draw.

Steve Stone

Despite numerous injuries, Stone established himself as a regular in the starting line-up at Fratton Park following his move from Aston Villa in 2002

During his first season, he was invaluable in the team that won promotion to the Premier League and went on to help secure a mid-table finish in English football’s top tier the year later.

After helping Pompey avoid the drop in 2004/05, Stone was not to build on his 68 appearances for the club as then-boss Alain Perrin announced that he was to be released that summer.

Teddy Sheringham

With Spurs deciding not to offer Sheringham a new contact at the end of the 2002/03 season, he signed up for Pompey first season in the Premier League.

The England international offered a wealth of experience and became the oldest player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick, after netting three against Bolton a few months into the campaign.

He scored the last of his 10 goals for the club on the final day of the 2003-04 season in a 5-1 victory over Middlesbrough, helping secure a mid-table finish of 13th place.


What a free transfer Kanu turned out to be!

After joining in the summer of 2006 from Arsenal, he made his mark immediately by scoring twice on his debut against Blackburn Rovers at Fratton Park.

The Nigerian’s prolific form in front of goal was certainly a sign of things to come as the 2007/08 season approached.

Kanu made himself a Blues legend by scoring the winner in both the FA Cup semi-final against West Brom and the final against Cardiff City.

The forward also made the headlines in the 2008/09 season, most notably by scoring the second goal in a thrilling 2-2 draw with AC Milan in the Uefa Cup.