Portsmouth transfer news: Danny Cowley makes George Hirst financial admission as Blues boss plots permanent stay for Leicester youngster

Danny Cowley has revealed his hopes of landing George Hirst on a permanent deal is in the hands of the club’s hierarchy.

By Sam Cox
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 4:55 am

But the Fratton chief explained it would be his ‘strong recommendation’ to sign the Leicester striker permanently – if the opportunity presents itself.

The 23-year-old has discovered his goalscoring touch in recent weeks, by netting four goals in five games – including a brace against Accrington last Saturday.

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That will no doubt have raised his stock and alerted Leicester to his recent progress under Cowley’s leadership.

It has also convinced the Pompey head coach that Hirst is a player he would be keen to see stay at Fratton Park beyond the summer.

Yet Cowley admitted the club’s money men will have a far greater say on whether an extended PO4 stay is on the cards for the in-form front man.

‘It would be up to the club to decide what is affordable,’ he said.

George Hirst is set to return to Leicester in the summer. Picture: Nigel Keene

‘If we were able to sign George Hirst, I would strongly recommend it. I’ve said that from the beginning.

‘These are the type of young players I think we should be really trying to sign at Pompey.

‘We speak to Leicester on a regular basis, and we’re really appreciative they allowed us to take George, and I’ve been really proud of him and the way he’s worked.

‘Like all young players, success doesn’t always happen in a straight line and he’s really had to fight to get to this moment.’

Hirst endured a slow start to life on the south coast by firing blanks in his opening 13 appearances.

After a purple patch around November, where he netted his maiden Blues goal against Crystal Palace under-21s and doubled his tally against Lincoln weeks later, the striker’s struggles continued until the turn of the year.

He has since scored six goals in 13 appearances – prompting Cowley to believe the Fratton faithful are finally seeing the forward at his best.

The Blues boss added: ‘It’s been great to see him play with that confidence that allows him to perform at his best.

‘I think we’re all seeing the best of George now as he’s been a handful. You can play into him or up to him.

‘He stretches the pitch for you and carries real goal threat.

‘I love the amount of chances he’s been getting in recent games and it’s been great to see that real clinical side on Saturday.

‘There’s a lot to like and I’m so pleased for George.

‘From a manager’s point-of-view, it’s lovely when you see the young players who work hard, reap the rewards of that work ethic.’

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