Danny Cowley on why ex-Leicester and England youth winger is back on trial at Portsmouth - 19 days after rejecting him

Layton Ndukwu’s hopes of a Pompey deal were shattered when released following a trial.

By Neil Allen
Monday, 2nd August 2021, 4:30 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd August 2021, 5:59 pm
Triallist Layton Ndukwu is back after Pompey - 19 days after being rejected. Picture: Paul Collins

Now, 19 days later, he’s back.

That Fratton Park occasion completed a busy 24 hours for Ndukwu, who the previous morning had driven from his Leicester home to rejoin Pompey’s squad for Friday training.

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Now the 22-year-old is pencilled in to feature in Tuesday’s behind-closed-doors encounter at Bournemouth under-21s (4pm).

Now Ndukwu has returned – and he’s been granted a second opportunity to shine for Pompey.

Cowley told The News: ‘Layton is a pretty good kid, we liked him (before).

‘I thought he did really, really well in the Havant game and you have to stay open-minded.

‘That’s what we are – open-minded – and I think it’s good for him and it’s good for us. We need players and are looking for the right ones.

‘We would only want to bring back players or invite players in that we can look at and see as a realistic fit for us as a football club.

‘With some of the triallists, you have to remember they’re really young boys, and we want to have four young players that we think we can help develop for tomorrow.’

With Cowley keen to add promising young players to his squad, it has brought Ndukwu back into the frame.

Pompey have suffered bad luck in that department, with Jayden Reid sustaining cruciate ligament damage to his knee, while moves for Corey Adai and Jay Mingi fell through.

Yet Ndukwu, who came through the Leicester ranks to represent England under-16s and under-17s, fits the bill.

Cowley added: ‘We haven’t got an under-23s at the moment, so it’s important we have that young group of players which we can develop.

‘Every club’s ambition should be to develop a young player to hopefully then enjoy that young player – and then eventually sell them to help the club in the long-term financially.’

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