Gavin Bazunu: I wanted a team which plays similarly to Manchester City - that's why I chose Portsmouth over Ipswich, Charlton and Burton
Gavin Bazunu has revealed why he snubbed Pompey’s promotion rivals to sign up to Danny Cowley’s Fratton Park vision.
The Republic of Ireland international was much in demand this summer, pursued by League One clubs Ipswich, Charlton and Burton for a season-long loan.
Yet it was the Blues who emerged as winners, with Bazunu – and Manchester City – favouring Cowley’s footballing philosophy.
The 19-year-old insists he was swayed by Pompey’s style of football and a preference for playing the ball out from the goalkeeper.
It’s a playing approach Bazunu feels shares similarities to parent club Manchester City.
And he is adamant a successful Fratton Park season can aid his ambition of one day becoming the Premier League champions’ number one.
‘I spoke to Danny on the phone a couple of times before I made the decision, he said all the right things to me,’ he told The News.
‘They were really positive things about how he wanted to play and how I’d be able to help the team. It was a really exciting prospect, which is why I chose to come here.
‘I had a few other options such as Ipswich, Charlton and Burton, but for me this felt like the right move.
‘I didn’t actually speak to Paul Cook, but, talking with City and my agent, they believed Pompey would be a better area to come to develop my game.
‘For me, I have a desire to play – and play good football.
‘Obviously being at Manchester City and the way they play, I wanted to come to a team which wants to perform in a similar fashion. That’s only going to improve me as a goalkeeper and help my development.
‘My overall goal is to be number one at Manchester City one day. To give myself the best chance of achieving that goal is to come to a team which plays similarly.
‘I’ve put a lot of trust in Danny, he has told me what he wants to do this season and it sounds really exciting, so I can’t wait to get started.
‘From training over the last two weeks you can see how we want to go about things, playing really high energy, with intensity, and hopefully playing exciting football.’
Bazunu spent last season with Rochdale, making 32 appearances.
The campaign would also mark his international breakthrough, promoted from the Republic of Ireland’s under-21s into senior duty, going on to amass four appearances.
And he has come to Pompey to play.
Bazunu added: ‘Rochdale was an absolutely brilliant loan, I don’t feel I could have gone anywhere else to develop my game as well as I did there.
‘Game time is most important – improving your game only comes from playing.
‘If you are sitting on the bench you can get some sort of information, but playing matches is where the real experience comes.
‘I want to kick on. I want to be on another level at the end of the season to what I am now. Hopefully that will come through game time and experience.’
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.