Pompey to keep paying for sidelined Holmes-Dennis

Injured left-back Tareiq Holmes-Dennis Picture: Joe Pepler
Injured left-back Tareiq Holmes-Dennis Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Smith. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey must continue contributing to Tareiq Holmes-Dennis’ wages – despite the loanee left-back being ruled out for the season.

The 21-year-old today underwent an operation in London on the left knee he injured on his debut against Rochdale.

A lot of the worst injuries are very innocuous

Kenny Jackett

Holmes-Dennis damaged cartilage lining the end of his thigh bone after losing his footing on astroturf around the Fratton Park pitch.

Surgery has now been carried out to reattach the cartilage, ensuring nine to 10 months on the sidelines.

Effectively, the defender’s loan spell is over. But under terms of his season-long stay, the Blues must still pay Huddersfield.

And that rules out the opportunity for savings to be used when finding a possible replacement at full-back.

Manager Kenny Jackett said: ‘A lot of the worst injuries are very innocuous.

‘Tareiq went off the pitch quite early in the game, he got his footing slightly wrong from the grass to the astroturf and felt something in his knee.

‘He carried on for a period but was signalling and couldn’t shake it off.

‘It’s nobody’s fault, just one of those things.

‘He had the operation today and after a few days will come into us quite briefly before his parent club (Huddersfield) want him around to rehabilitate.

‘If there’s anything we can do along the way we will, but the reality is he will go back up north for his rehabilitation.

‘It doesn’t free up any finances, we are committed and still have to pay for him.

‘It’s a business, nobody can cater for an injury.

‘We are making enquiries to replace him, we feel we have a couple of leads and will see what happens.’

It means once again Jackett is challenged with finding an effective replacement for Enda Stevens.

He is seeking a natural left-footer who possesses attacking instincts – characteristics he believed he had found in Holmes-Dennis.

Pompey’s boss has already spoken of his desire to possess the option for a 3-5-2 system, with wing-backs employed.

Brandon Haunstrup has started the Blues’ past two matches and impressed in Saturday’s trip to the Kassam Stadium.

Drew Talbot can also feature there and covered for Holmes-Dennis when he was forced off in the first half of the victory over Rochdale.

But Jackett remains on the hunt for a new left-back recruit, making it his priority ahead of a central midfielder.

And he admits he had high hopes for Holmes-Dennis, who had caught the eye with his swashbuckling surges from full-back during pre-season.

Jackett added: ‘It’s a shame for the lad and a shame for us because he had looked a good fit.

‘Tareiq has had a few loans and was part of Huddersfield last year, although without being a central part.

‘I thought he had replaced Enda Stevens very well.’