Danny Cowley reveals Portsmouth loan ambition as he targets only 'the very best'

Danny Cowley has vowed to use his three remaining loan slots wisely – and bring ‘the very best’ candidates to Pompey.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 4:30 pm

Gavin Bazunu and Gassan Ahadme have so far arrived at Fratton Park on loan.

It’s an area of the transfer market that Cowley has long made clear will be crucial in the make-up of his Blues first-team.

Pompey’s head coach is adamant loanees will be starting XI contenders rather than squad fillers.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Certainly that was not always the case under predecessor Kenny Jackett who often failed to find space for such players in his team.

However, with three spots remaining – Cowley advocates an entirely different approach.

He told The News: ‘I will use the remaining loans wisely. We want loans where we think we can get the best players that can make the biggest difference at the best value.

‘That is absolutely our focus.

Gassan Ahadme is one of two Pompey loans so far - with Danny Cowley seeking additional quality for the remaining three slots - Picture: Nigel Keene/ProSportsImages

‘We are looking for the very best loans that are available to us, whether that be young Premier League clubs or more experienced players from Championship clubs.

‘We want three players that can really influence and effect – and be in our starting XI.

‘The aim is always to improve the starting XI, that’s how I recruit. You are recruiting a squad, trying to create a balanced squad, with competition for places.

‘We know the type of profile of players that we’d like. We like pace, power, athleticism and, of course, technical execution too.

‘These players always come at a premium.’

Manchester City’s Bazunu is likely to be Pompey number one this season, while Norwich striker Ahadme has been a goalscoring revelation in pre-season and can expect to be regularly involved.

The Blues require plenty of fresh faces at present, particularly at centre-half, left-back, central midfield and on the wings.

So far there have been eight arrivals – but Cowley wants plenty more.

He added: ‘I am not very patient and I’ve had to be incredibly patient, it doesn’t suit me, but we would like to get them in as soon as possible.

‘We are trying desperately hard to get players in before the start of the season.

‘Anyone can see we need depth in the squad, we need competition for places, and also need to keep trying to improve the starting XI.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.

You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.