Denver Hume: Portsmouth's expensive forgotten man and why former Sunderland defender really could be one for the future
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Placed in the ‘up-and-coming’ category who could still make an impact straight away on the Blues’ starting XI, his signing represented a significant shift away from previous transfer strategies at Fratton Park.
And the early signs were promising, with the 23-year-old showing his prowess moving forward from his left-wing-back berth and proving an obvious step-up from Lee Brown’s honest efforts down the same flank.
But approaching eight months since that brave move from his boyhood club in the north east, those positive first impressions all of a sudden seem a distant memory.
Indeed, through no fault of his own, Hume is now finding himself as the forgotten man at Fratton Park.
There’s been no sign of the Black Cats academy product since mid-March and a 64-minute run-out against Plymouth.
That proved to be the last of nine appearances made since swapping Sunderland for the Blues, with a prolapsed disc in his back hindering his Pompey progress over the 2021-22 season run-in.
There’s been encouraging talk of progress in his recovery since Danny Cowley’s side returned for pre-season at the end of June.
Yet that – plus the Blues’ first home game of the season at Fratton Park against Lincoln – has now come and gone, and still there’s nothing to suggest that a return to action is on the cards.
Hume’s back problem reportedly had an impact on his calf, through a nerve issue, which represents another unfortunate twist in the player’s hope of kickstarting his career away from Sunderland.
It’s not a newIy-discovered problem.
However, there’s a vagueness surrounding timescales and comeback dates. You never know, Hume could find himself in the frame at Cardiff tonight.
Thankfully for Pompey, unsuspecting hero Connor Ogilvie has stepped up to the plate to prove a clever piece of business by Cowley this time last year.
In fact, he was giving Hume a run for his money in that left-wing-back role even before injury struck.
But for Hume, Ogilvie’s reliability, impressive performances and cult status at Fratton Park – plus Cowley’s current shift away from wing-backs – could provide yet another setback during an already frustrating spell at PO4.
All of a sudden that one-for-the-future tag takes on another meaning.