'Brilliant' Manchester City support goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu is receiving during Portsmouth loan stay

Pompey goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu is currently in his second season out on loan from Manchester City.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 4:00 pm
Pompey loan goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

But the support and guidance remains for the Republic of Ireland international from coaching staff at the reigning Premier League champions.

The in-demand 19-year-old stopper chose Pompey as the best place to aid his long-term development, arriving on a season-long loan despite interest from Ipswich, Charlton and Burton this summer.

It represents consecutive campaigns away from the Etihad, with Bazunu turning out 32 times for Rochdale last term as they suffered League One relegation last term.

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Facing another spell away from your parent club, it might be easy to become detached from the eventual career route you hope to take as a player.

But for teenager Bazunu, he sees it as all part of the process to one day achieving the dream of becoming Man City's first-choice goalkeeper.

At present, that might seem a long way off with the Premier League champions stockpiled with stoppers.

Brazilian Ederson is rated as one of the best in the world, while American Zack Steffen and England international Scott Carson make up the current first-team goalkeeping contingent at the Etihad.

Yet, despite the vast array of stoppers on Man City's books, Bazunu remains in regular contact with coaching staff at his parent club.

Mostly, first-team goalkeeper coach, Xabier Mancisidor, will be in touch with the Pompey loanee to dissect his performances on a weekly basis.

The pair review all of Bazunu's matches with Mancisidor providing valuable feedback to go alongside the support he receives from Danny Cowley's coaching staff at PO4.

The Man City loanee said: ‘I work with the loan psychologist and strength and conditioning coaches at times.

‘My reference is Xabi (Xabier) – the first-team goalkeeping coach. I try to keep in touch with him once or twice a week depending on how many games I play.

‘We go through the games together, review the clips, he’s brilliant with me.

‘It depends on how many games I play but we review every game whether it’s every week or second week, we try to speak and go over clips of the game.

‘He’ll pull out bits that he needs to talk to me about and I’m more than happy to listen.

‘We’re just continuing on from what we did last season (during Rochdale loan).’

Already, the teenager has been capped at senior level by the Republic of Ireland, accumulating four caps for Stephen Kelly's side.

Plying his trade in League One again this season, Bazunu might have been concerned to miss out on matches at club level because of international call-ups.

However, with Welsh ace Joe Morrell, who featured in all four Euro 2020 matches for his country, and fellow Eire regular Ronan Curtis both team-mates at Pompey, it's likely the stopper might not be forced to miss crucial league fixtures - with clubs allowed to postpone games should they have three or more squad members away on international duty.

Bazunu added: ‘That’s a massive thing for me, I don’t want to be missing any games (because of internationals).

‘I want to be available to play every single game, I think Ronan (Curtis) and Joe (Morrell) will be the same.’