Christian Burgess revelling in Premier League progress of ex-Portsmouth partners-in-crime Adam Webster and Matt Clarke

Christian Burgess with former Pompey team-mate Matt Clarke
Christian Burgess with former Pompey team-mate Matt Clarke
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The Christian Burgess factor has reaped Premier League moves for two former central-defensive partners.

Not that the long-serving Pompey player dares claim credit for the blossoming careers of Adam Webster and Matt Clarke.

Adam Webster celebrates scoring in a 2-1 victory over Cambridge United at Fratton Park in February 2016. Picture: Joe Pepler

Adam Webster celebrates scoring in a 2-1 victory over Cambridge United at Fratton Park in February 2016. Picture: Joe Pepler

Webster served as Burgess’ centre-half companion on 19 occasions during the 2015-16 season.

The West Wittering youngster departed that summer for Ipswich, in a deal which signalled the permanent Fratton Park arrival of one-time loanee Clarke.

Burgess would subsequently total 104 appearances alongside Clarke, earning the League Two title and the Checkatrade Trophy.

Still, this summer saw Premier League Brighton recruit both Webster and Clarke, before the latter was loaned to Derby.

And their flourishing progress is watched with admiration by their former partner-in-crime.

Burgess said: ‘They have done really well and it points to Pompey having a big impact.

‘Me and Clarkes actually started the first season against Dagenham & Redbridge, then Webbo interchanged and we all played a fair amount.

‘Webbo has gone on to play superbly in the Championship, people talk about him as one of the top defenders at that level – and naturally earned that Premier League move.

‘Hopefully we’ll see him playing in the Premier League and on Match of the Day.

‘I always believed Webbo had all the attributes to be a top-class defender, I know Kal Naismith also rated him very highly.

‘We could see he possessed that ability, but there were a couple of injury problems, so that was one question. He seems fine now, though.

‘I heard stories about Webbo playing right-back before I came and that’s football sometimes, it can change so quickly.

‘There are probably players out there which didn’t get that last chance, instead they’ve fallen, that’s it, you won’t hear of them again.

‘Webbo certainly capitalised on that opportunity.’

Webster was an unused substitute in Brighton’s 3-0 success at Watford on the opening day.

Meanwhile, Clarke has made two Championship starts for Derby.

Burgess added: ‘Clarkes has obviously done it a little differently, he’s going to earn his experience before staking a claim for the same rights as Webbo.

‘They are two top players – and I think everybody at Pompey always said that.’