Danny Cowley details January recruitment plans to resolve Portsmouth striking problems

Danny Cowley will re-enter the loan market in January to resolve Pompey’s striker failings.

Monday, 8th November 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 8th November 2021, 1:08 pm
Danny Cowley is focusing on the loan market for a striker to bolster Pompey during the January transfer window. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South

And while paying transfer fees has not been ruled out, that must be bankrolled by player sales.

The form of the Blues’ centre-forwards remains a huge headache, with John Marquis registering four times in 18 outings and Gassan Ahadme and George Hirst yet to score.

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In addition, Ellis Harrison has endured yet more injury problems and has still to net in League One this season.

Pompey recruitment team Phil Boardman and Roberto Gagliardi, plus Danny and Nicky Cowley, are seeking fresh striking talent to bring in during January.

Although, at present, they are confined to the loan market.

The Blues’ head coach told The News: ‘We have targets. The number nine defines you.

‘The centre-forward position is more difficult in January for us, for obvious reasons, but it’s an area we would like to add to, if we can.

‘It’s about availability, finance, we know the profile of forwards we want, yet there are not a lot of them about – and normally good ones are a big part of successful teams.

‘So we need significant money to be able to bring them in, but a lot of our money is tied up.

‘You would always want your own permanent forward if you could.

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‘In an ideal world, you’d like all the players to be permanent, but that’s not the reality for us, so we have to use the loan market well.

‘You never quite know, do you. For example, there could be an offer for one of our players that then meant the finance was available for us to then use. Time will tell.

‘You are preparing for every eventuality and we know how fluid transfer windows are.

‘All of a sudden a change of events and a club will come in and try to sign one of our players for significant money.

‘Immediately we go from what we thought would be free agents or loans to potentially spending a transfer fee.’

Pompey already have five loan slots taken up for season – the maximum allowed in a match-day squad.

They are Hirst, Ahadme, Gavin Bazunu, Mahlon Romeo and Miguel Azeez.

Unless the Blues are prepared to pay loan players which cannot be selected for first-team fixtures, the likelihood is at least one must depart to create space in January.

Cowley added: ‘This is where planning is so difficult. I didn’t anticipate Mahlon (Romeo) being available and suddenly on deadline day he was.

‘The summer window was tough, we had too much to do, we can’t put ourselves in that position again because we need a spine which we can progress and build from.

‘We lost some players we didn’t anticipate we would lose – and that made a tough window impossible.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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