Burton Albion arrival Marcus Harness is the attacking player that's whet the appetite of Portsmouth fans

It was a picture that sent social media wild.

Marcus Harness battles Nathan Thompson for the ball during Pompey's win at Burton in April. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Marcus Harness battles Nathan Thompson for the ball during Pompey's win at Burton in April. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

When Marcus Harness was snapped entering Pompey’s training ground by an eagle-eyed fan using the Roko gym, it was swiftly doing the rounds on Twitter. 

A few hours later, a photo of the forward in Blues training gear all but confirmed he was set to move to Fratton Park before the official announcement arrived at 8pm.

The majority of the reaction from Burton supporters was them ruing the club’s decision to sell their prized asset to a League One rival.

The response from the Fratton faithful could scarcely be different.

There was hardly a comment bemoaning the signing, instead supporters hailing the recruitment team for coaxing Harness to the south coast.

And it’s to easy understand why.

The performance of Harness when Kenny Jackett's side travelled to the Brewers on Easter Friday is still vivid.

Instilled in supporters aplenty who watched that Pirelli Stadium clash on Sky Sports was a display of exuberance, intelligence and quality. 

Harness was Burton’s chief tormentor, running amok as Pompey struggled to nullify his potent threat.

The Blues somehow yielded a 2-1 win, with Harness’ excellent attacking efforts proving in vain.

Nevertheless, it was enough to make a long-lasting impression in the minds of boss Kenny Jackett and chief executive Mark Catlin.

And one final moment of magic for Burton was enough to convince Pompey to move for the Coventry-born ace.

On Tuesday, Harness scored an awe-inspiring goal to deliver Nigel Clough’s side a 2-1 friendly success against Premier League side Sheffield United.

With seconds on the clock, he picked the ball up 25 yards from goal, weaved past a Blades defender before arrowing a shot into the top corner.

Harness’ Pompey arrival has undoubtedly whet the appetite and, in truth, is the sort of signing fans have been craving this summer.

Now, that’s not saying the Blues’ previous recruits don’t look like decent pieces of business.

Ross McCrorie is regarded as future Rangers captain, Ellis Harrison is a proven goalscorer at this level and Sean Raggett comes from top-flight Norwich.

But a player of Harness’ ilk is what supporters desired.

The former Port Vale loanee commanded a sizeable fee but fits into Pompey’s model of a player who’ll have a sell-on value at 23 after penning a three-year contract. 

After registered six goals and seven assists last term, he’ll be looking to build on that tally at PO4. 

If the Latics don’t meet the £3m valuation, the prospect of Harness lining up alongside Lowe, Harrison and Ronan Curtis would be a forward line capable of blitzing any League One defence. 

But should the Championship outfit meet Pompey’s asking price for last season’s 17-goal top scorer then Harness has already softened that potential blow.