Portsmouth boss in January predicament he’d have been desperate to avoid

Kenny Jackett has reiterated a mantra on a number of occasions in the build up and throughout January.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 11:30 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:50 pm
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Pompey boss has insisted the winter transfer window is a period when there’s no shortage of players available.

But he stressed those on the market aren’t necessarily an upgrade on current squad members. 

How things have panned out in recent weeks, however, means the players the Blues subsequrntly recruit may fall into that category. 

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Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

David Wheeler’s return to QPR today ensures all four of the summer loanees have departed Fratton Park this month. 

And the Hoops wide man represents the second winger to go back to their parent club, after Andre Green was recalled by Aston Villa last week.

Wheeler’s spell on the south coast will be deemed disappointing – and his sudden departure shouldn’t come as a shock. 

While he struggled for game time, he didn’t display his best form when called into action. 

Nevertheless, he’s a player Jackett still held in high regard and his goal fired the Blues into the semi-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy against Peterborough on Tuesday. 

The Pompey boss will be frustrated to see Wheeler go and shrinks his current forward options even further.

And what’s obvious is Pompey need to recruit – and fast.

Identifying and signing those who will strengthen the Blues might be easier said than done, however. 

With the transfer window closing a week today, there will chiefly be two types of players available. 

The first are those who frankly won’t improve Pompey, arriving to make up numbers instead at short notice.

Then there’s those who are serious targets, players identified by the manager and his recruitment team well in advance.

But with such a small window of opportunity left, that could result in their price tag being inflated as clubs look to take advantage of the Blues’ situation.

Meanwhile, if they are loan arrivals, will they want to play second fiddle to established attacking talents as Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis?

In truth, Jackett has found himself in a predicament he’d have been desperate to avoid this month. 

For all of his intentions of recruiting early, there will instead be an enforced late flurry of activity and a scrambling around for players.

The winter window played a significant part in Pompey missing out on the play-offs last season.

Let’s hope it’s not the same 12 months later and causes the Blues to miss out of automatic promotion.