WHEN Ronan Curtis arrived at Pompey, there was pressure on him to deliver from the get-go.
The Blues’ lengthy and public pursuit was one reason why he needed to hit the ground running following his arrival from Derry City.
But his Fratton Park remit under manager Kenny Jackett’s side was the primary factor.
The boss informed Curtis he had been purchased to remedy Pompey’s left-wing problem.
And after just seven League One appearances, he's already emphatically upped productivity levels from that side of the pitch.
The left flank of Pompey’s attack failed to live up to expectations last season.
While Jamal Lowe flourished down the right in his first full League One campaign – registering six goals and seven assists – the same could not be said of those on the opposite wing.
Three players were handed ample opportunities to do so.
None were able to impress, though, and the trio now find themselves at different clubs.
Kyle Bennett proved key when Paul Cook’s Blues clinched the League Two title.
However, the chirpy winger flattered to deceive under Jackett. He could not provide a goal or an assist from 18 League One appearances, before leaving for Bristol Rovers in January.
Matty Kennedy made an encouraging start to his Fratton Park career after signing on loan from Cardiff City.
But the Scot’s form dipped as the campaign progressed and he finished with just three goals and three assists from 32 league games.
Kal Naismith was the man who sparked Pompey’s run to the League Two crown during the 2016-17 campaign. In the Blues’ final nine games that season, the ex-Rangers man netted seven times to lead Cook’s men to the silverware.
However, his form at the end of last term was contrasting. Naismith started 10 of Pompey's final 11 matches on the left, and only recorded a goal and an assist.
Prior to that, he managed only one league goal – against Plymouth.
Just seven league games into his Blues career and Curtis has already surpassed the trio’s combined contributions.
The Irishman returned from international duty to help Pompey move to the top of League One with a win at Peterborough on Saturday.
Curtis set up Oli Hawkins and Jamal Lowe’s goals at London Road, taking his tally for the season to five goals and five assists. And that's already more than Bennett, Naismith and Kennedy put together last term.
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