Pompey’s young central-defensive partnership has been tipped to reach the Premier League.
Tom Naylor feels there is no reason why Jack Whatmough and Matt Clarke can’t go on to play in the top flight of the English game.
Naylor has been blown away by the potential of the duo since operating in front of them after his summer arrival from Burton Albion.
He can see they have all the right attributes to go far.
Naylor said: ‘I’ve heard Jack’s had injury problems, so hopefully he can get a run of games going.
‘He’s a quality defender and, like Clarkey, he could go anywhere. I’ve seen a lot of centre-halves who haven’t quite done it but they both have both got everything you need. They can head it and they are good on the ball.
‘In a couple of years they could go far – maybe the Championship or even the Premier League.
‘There’s not many people who can do what they do and have the confidence they’ve got.
‘I think it’s a brilliant combination and they’ve got an understanding with each other. It’s always nice to know your two centre-halves have got that.’
Whatmough may be just 22 with Clarke still only 21 but Naylor feels the defenders’ youth is no barrier for them.
He added: ‘Jack’s 22 and I don’t think Matt’s ever been 21! More like 41!
‘They’ve been playing with each other for a long time and they’ve got a lot more experience than you’d expect for their years.
‘With the age, if you’re good enough you play – and they’ve done well.
‘They’ve won every header and are calm on the ball as well. It’s always nice when you have two centre-halves behind you like that.’