‘Portsmouth unlikely to extend Wolves front man’s loan spell’

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Pompey are unlikely to extend Joe Mason’s loan spell at Fratton Park.

That’s the verdict of News Pompey writer Will Rooney, who sees no viable route for the Wolves front man to break into the team.

Check-a-Trade Trophy group stage - Crawley Town vs Portsmouth - 09/10/18'Portsmouths Joe Mason

Check-a-Trade Trophy group stage - Crawley Town vs Portsmouth - 09/10/18'Portsmouths Joe Mason

Mason is currently out with a groin injury he picked up playing for the reserves last week.

He’s expected to return to training before the Blues are next in action against Scunthorpe on Saturday, November 24.

But by that stage, though, manager Kenny Jackett should have his full quota of forwards to chose from, following Andre Green’s return to fitness after his minor knee operation.

If that’s the case, Oli Hawkins, Brett Pitman, Jamal Lowe, Gareth Evans, Ronan Curtis, Louis Dennis, Green, David Wheeler and Mason will all be vying for places not just in the team but in the match-day squad.

Speaking in the latest edition of Pompey Talk, Rooney believes Jackett has an embarrassment of riches when all his attacking options are available.

And he believes Mason, with three appearances and no goals during his time at Frattojn Park, could be the one sacrificed.

His loan move from Molineux is set to expire in the January transfer window.

Rooney said: ‘If Mason is back and Curtis is back, who is he going to leave out of his squad?

‘He’s already got Pitman on the bench, Wheeler, Mason, Green – that’s four attacking players and you can’t have them all on the bench.

‘So it’s going to be one of them who misses out.

‘It will be interesting to see who does and, as Kenny Jackett has said before, it’s not a headache for him when he has this luxury of top-quality League One players.

‘He’s got no allegiance to anyone, he’ll make the decision on what he thinks is best for the team, so who he leaves out of the match-day squad, he won’t feel guilty about it whatsoever.

‘And then you’ve got Louis Dennis who played alright the other night (against Spurs under-21s) as well and can’t even get in the squad.

‘A few Pompey fans are already thinking he deserves his League One chance, so there’s an embarrassment of riches.

‘With that, you can see Mason going back to Wolves.

‘He hasn’t played a lot of football, to be fair, and he’s had a tough couple of years, to be fair to him

‘Don’t get me wrong, Jackett would probably love to keep him around, because he does rate him, even though he hasn’t played.

‘Kenny Jackett holds him in high regard.

‘But he just can’t get him into the team.

‘But why would you get him into the team? Why would you drop Gareth Evans? Why would you drop Oli Hawkins?

‘They’re both on six goals. Both have both been so key to Pompey’s early-season title charge, so you can see Mason going back to Wolves.’