Kal Naismith’s Pompey future has been the subject of much debate this week.
After being left out of the match-day squad for last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Bury, many believed it marked the end of the Scot’s Fratton Park stay.
An opinion generated from Blues boss Kenny Jackett’s comments after the game that the soon-to-be out-of-contract forward was ‘fully fit’ and available to play.
The Pompey manager has since stated that he has not ruled out Naismith featuring in today’s season finale against Peterborough.
So the debate on whether last season’s top scorer would be seen again wearing the star & crescent continues to rage.
That led us to take a look at Naismith’s stats for the Blues over the past two seasons with the help of Wyscout - the professional football platform for football analysis.
The findings prove intriguing, to say the least.
The Rangers academy product was Pompey’s League Two title hero last term.
After being transfer-listed by Paul Cook at the start of the campaign, Naismith transformed himself from being a bit-part player to becoming the Blues’ talisman.
He finished the campaign with 13 league goals, with seven of those coming in the final nine games.
Yet Naismith hasn’t been able to match those sort of performances in League One and the figures prove it.
Granted, the former Accrington attacker has had fewer minutes on the pitch since Kenny Jackett took the helm at Fratton Park.
Last season Naimsith clocked up 2364 minutes of match action, with only 1771 being registered this campaign.
But he started nine successive matches before being dropped for the trip to Gigg Lane.
This season, Naismith has netted just twice in League One and registered one assist.
That means his goal per 90 minutes ratio has jettisoned from 0.49 to just 0.1.
His lack of goals seemingly is a result of him not having as many shots.
Last term, Naismith averaged 3.46 shots per match and that has plummeted to 1.78 this campaign.
When he is getting a sight of goal, his radar has also been much less accurate.
When shooting last season, 45.05 per cent of his efforts were on target, compared to 28.57 this term – another obvious drop!
Naismith’s marauding runs reaped so much success for Cook’s side last term, too.
He’d so often pick the ball up and drive at defences with power and pace.
However, the stats show they have also dropped this campaign.
In the League Two title-winning season he recorded 235 dribbles at an average of 8.95 per game.
This term he’s produced just 81 at an average of 4.12 per match.
So often on those dribbles last season, he would be fouled in the process.
The promotion-clinching match at Notts County when he was brought down inside the box to win Pompey a penalty is a prime example.
In total, Naismith was fouled 41 times in Cook’s last season as boss – 12 more times than his record under Jackett.
Meanwhile, his cross accuracy has dropped by almost seven per cent from 28.41 to 21.62, as well as the number of balls he has been putting into the box per game (3.35 to 1.88).
The number of touches he’s taken inside the opposition’s box has also dropped from 87 to 45.
Naismith’s name is firmly cemented in Fratton folklore.
Nobody will ever forget the heroics he produced to start Pomey’s climb up the Football League ladder.
If today’s clash against Peterborough is his last match, he’ll no doubt get a warm reception, with the Fratton faithful likely to salute the exploits his conjured up last term.
But the statistics highlight he’s had a disappointing season in League One.