Still more vacancies in Pompey loan ranks

Stuart O'Keefe is ruled out until mid-April. Picture: Joe Pepler
Stuart O'Keefe is ruled out until mid-April. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey’s loan ranks have been swelled to six following Anton Walkes’ arrival from Spurs.

Yet injuries ensure the Blues still have room for one more temporary addition within their match-day squad.

According to Football League rules, a teamsheet – including substitutes – can contain up to five players registered on loan.

On Monday, Walkes joined Matty Kennedy, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, Stuart O’Keefe, Connor Ronan and Sylvain Deslandes at Fratton Park.

Yet the availability of all six to Kenny Jackett during the ongoing campaign has been hampered by injury.

And, as it stands, only four of the allotted five spots are able to be filled in the match-day 18 to face Doncaster at the weekend.

Holmes-Dennis’ debut against Rochdale lasted 39 minutes before he sustained knee-ligament damage and returned to parent club Huddersfield for treatment.

Despite him effectively being ruled out for the season, the loan has not been cancelled and he remains on Pompey’s books.

The left-back continues to be on the Blues’ payroll, although does not affect the match-day quota.

The second – and final – loanee sidelined through injury is Stuart O’Keefe, who is expected to return in mid-April.

The Cardiff midfielder is pencilled in for consideration for the final four matches of the season, although even that may be optimistic.

Like Holmes-Dennis, the loan remains in place but he possesses considerably more of a chance of playing again this season.

Last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Shrewsbury saw three loanees included in Pompey’s squad, with Kennedy, Ronan and Deslandes among the substitutes.

Of the trio, attacking midfielder Ronan was the only player used, featuring in place of Kal Naismith for the final 20 minutes.

Jackett is chiefly looking at strengthening his squad in the loan market, so more new arrivals could land before tonight’s 11pm deadline.

Jamie Hanson is leading the list of targets as Pompey continue their patient pursuit of the Derby midfielder.

That would also be a loan, the 22-year-old contracted until the season’s end – with the Rams keen to extend it.

Kennedy has been the Blues’ most effective loanee so far, with three goals and three assists in 25 appearances.

O’Keefe has netted twice in 19 appearances.