Danny Cowley reveals thoughts on Fleetwood loanee Callum Johnson's Portsmouth future

Danny Cowley insists he is not ready to close the door on Callum Johnson’s Fratton Park career.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 5:30 pm

The out-of-favour right-back is presently on loan at Fleetwood, with his Pompey contract expiring at the season’s end.

With Cowley keen to remove fringe members of his squad in January to fund the arrival of fresh faces in the transfer window, it puts the spotlight on the 25-year-old.

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Regardless, Cowley hasn’t ruled out the ex-Middlesbrough man still having a Pompey future.

He told The News: ‘I don’t anticipate Callum leaving in January, he’s on a season-long loan.

‘You are always open with all of your players and certainly any player that is contracted.

‘We know football is a very fluid game, things change very quickly, and Callum is a young player who is developing.

Callum Johnson has been at Fleetwood since August and is out of contract at Fratton Park at the season's end. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘He is a young lad who really wanted to play and had a feeling that maybe he wouldn't play as much as he wanted to here. When he felt like that, it was very evident he wanted to get out and play regularly, which we understand.

‘When you have a player with that feeling then obviously you look at the opportunities to be able to provide him with that – and that’s what we did.

‘I think it has been a good loan for everybody. For Callum, for Fleetwood and certainly for us.

‘We didn’t anticipate Mahlon Romeo becoming available to us and that was really right at the deadline.

‘When it did we had to make sure we balanced the squad accordingly.

‘We have good dialogue every week with Fleetwood regarding Callum’s progress and it has been great to see him score a couple of goals in recent times.

‘He’s doing well and playing sometimes at right wing-back, sometimes at right-back, sometimes on the right of a back three, which is good.’

Romeo has been Pompey’s undisputed first-choice right-back in the absence of Johnson.

The 26-year-old has shone since his Millwall arrival, much to Cowley’s delight.

Pompey’s head coach added: ‘We had Mahlon on a season-long loan, we have been delighted with him, he has shown what we all know he is capable of.

‘He’s a Championship right-back and plays right wing-back, he’s like two players for us. He defends like a right-back and attacks like a right winger.

‘We have loved his power and athleticism, and also the quality he has brought to the group.’

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