Triallist tipped to impress Pompey

Lawrie Wilson and Kyle Bennett. Picture: Sarah Standing
Lawrie Wilson and Kyle Bennett. Picture: Sarah Standing
Bradley Lethbridge. Picture: Colin Farmery

Pompey Academy sign year off as loan youngsters exit

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Lawrie Wilson has been tipped to become a Pompey hit.

Kenny Jackett is currently casting his eye over the right-back, who linked up with the Blues for the first day of pre-season training yesterday.

The Trotters have chosen not to renew the 29-year-old’s contract, which expires today.

Wilson made 26 appearances in Bolton’s League One promotion-winning campaign last term.

He was a regular for Phil Parkinson’s outfit before he tore a hamstring at MK Dons in February – an injury which sidelined him for the rest of the season.

Marc Iles, Trotters correspondent at The Bolton News, admitted he was shocked when Wilson was not offered a new deal at the Macron Stadium.

He reckons the defender will fit in perfectly at Pompey.

Iles said: ‘I can’t rate Wilson highly enough.

‘It surprised me when he got released and I told him that.

‘At League One level, he is a very dependable right-back.

‘He had a tough time when Bolton were in the Championship when things weren’t great financially.

‘When Bolton went down to League One, Wilson was one of the characters to lift things and get things going again.

‘In the first half of last season, he was very important in Bolton’s charge towards the top of the league.

‘When Wilson got injured, it meant the Trotters had to change their entire system because he was their only right-back.

‘He was so dependable, they didn’t need a back-up. Up to that point he was one of the most consistent players in the team.

‘It was a very big blow for Bolton at the time.’

Gareth Evans plugged the gap at right-back for Pompey last season.

But he is keen to return to his natural duties on the wing.

New boy Nathan Thompson broke through the ranks at Swindon at full-back.

However, he has since made a seamless transition into the centre of defence.

Meanwhile, Drew Talbot’s appearances were scarce last term, leaving Jackett on the lookout for a new right-back.

Wilson learned his trade on the right of midfield.

And Iles believes the former Charlton Athletic man could be deployed as a wing-back, if Jackett desired to play a 3-5-2 system.

He added: ‘Wilson is very solid as a right-back.

‘He could play as a wing-back, too. He’s got the engine, stamina and decent pace.

‘You need someone to have the legs for that position and he has the mentality to fit in a 3-5-2 system.

‘Wilson was at Charlton in the Championship and did a decent job there.

‘He’ll argue he can play in that league.’