Dan Barlaser is on Pompey’s radar this summer.
The Newcastle midfielder is being monitored by Kenny Jackett, although Championship duo Wigan and Preston pose strong competition.
As things stand, the Blues are relatively well stocked in the engine room.
Tom Naylor is Pompey’s enforcer, with Ben Close and Bryn Morris the ball-playing options around him.
Andy Cannon can also operate in the middle of the park, although Jackett has previously earmarked the former Rochdale man to play in a more attacking role.
The release of Dion Donohue and Adam May set to spend the season on loan at Swindon may mean Jackett feels he’s a body light in midfield.
Barlaser impressed on loan at Accrington last season, helping them to a 14th-place finish in League One.
And using stats-based company Wyscout – the professional platform for people working in the football world – we’ve crunched the numbers to see how the 22-year-old performed compared to Close and Morris (including his spell at Wycombe) during 2018-19.
Close proved a potent goal threat in the second half of last term. He finished on nine for the campaign, averaging 0.23 efforts per 90 minutes.
That is a far greater total than Morris, who scored four in 29 at an average of 0.17 per 90, while Barlaser’s three in 45 outings meant his average was just 0.05.
In terms of creating goals, it was Morris who scooped that honour, recording 0.09 assists per 90 minutes compared to Close and Barlaser’s 0.03.
With Donohue departing, Jackett may want someone to replicate the Welshman’s ability to ping raking long passes and start swift counter-attacks.
The numbers show Barlaser has that ability, with 55.6 per cent of his long balls finding their intended target compared to Morris (45.4 per cent) and Close (44.6 per cent).
Short, incisive passing is Close’s strongest attribute and that shows in his stats.
His passing accuracy last season was 80.4 per cent, better than both Barlaser (77.5 per cent) and Morris (71.6 per cent).
In terms of dribbles coming off, Morris showed the most prowess.
The January arrival from Shrewsbury was successful with 84 per cent of his compared to Barlaser (82.6 per cent) and Close (80.6 per cent)
Defensive duties prove a strong area for Barlaser.
He came out on top of 42.3 per cent of his duels and 51.6 per cent of his aerials battles in contrast to Close (38.9 and 43.5 per cent) and Morris (34.6 and 38.2).
The latter does read the game well, though, averaging 5.34 interceptions per 90 minutes over Close’s 4.72 and Barlaser’s 4.48.