How Portsmouth's January transfer window could unfold after rumour mill churns out its first name
It’s more than two months until the January transfer window opens – and the rumour mill has already churned out its first name.
Ryan Broom is on Pompey’s radar, according to Gloucestershire Live after registering six goals and four assists for Cheltenham so far this campaign.
Things haven’t exactly gone to plan for the Blues so far this season.
Despite harbouring designs on promotion, they sit 16th in the League One table after 12 games, while overall performances have left a lot to be desired.
By the time January comes around, there could well be a new man at the helm if results don’t take an upturn.
Sections of supporters have grown apathetic at the current situation and the chorus of “We want Jackett out” has been chanted on several occasions.
Jackett has previously had the backing from the Eisners and chief executive Mark Catlin, though, as they aim to build stability for the future.
The current boss will already be plotting his next phase of recruitment and how to strengthen his squad.
With that in mind, here’s how January could play out at Fratton Park...
Pompey’s squad at present
When surveying the current set-up, it’s as strong as any side in the division on paper.
A key element of Pompey's summer business was to ensure they didn’t have to dip into the market too much in January, with the past two winter windows proving unsatisfactory.
While results have wavered, there’s strength from back to front.
Craig MacGillivray is firmly No1 keeper, but Alex Bass has displayed he’s an adept understudy, while Luke McGee has 100 Football League games to his name.
The Blues' defence is now stable after a shaky start, while Jack Whatmough’s return from his long-term knee injury is earmarked for around February.
And Pompey certainly don't lack quality in the forward departments, although things have admittedly yet to fully click.
A specialist number 10
It’s a role that contingents of the Fratton faithful still feel needs addressing.
While there’s a bevy of quality in the final third, one sort of player the Blues do lack is a specialist number 10.
Gareth Evans shows endeavour, is a set-piece specialist and weighs in with his share of goals.
Andy Cannon’s tenacity and pressing puts opposition defences under immense pressure, while Brett Pitman provides Pompey with a goal threat.
On the whole, however, John Marquis has lacked service, with his intelligent runs frequently proving futile.
Consequently, a proper playmaker who can fuel the marksman with the ammunition to fire may be coveted.
Broom would meet that criteria. He’s successfully been operating in the hole behind the striker for Cheltenham, registering six goals and four assists to date.
The departure of on-loan players damaged Pompey’s promotion charge last season.
Ben Thompson’s recall to Millwall was the biggest blow, having dazzled as the Blues set the pace at the top of the table during the first half of the campaign.
Andre Green (Aston Villa) and David Wheeler (QPR) also returned to their parent clubs.
This time around, Rangers’ Ross McCrorie represents the only player who could be recalled early from his season-long loan.
The Ibrox ace has experienced mixed fortunes at Fratton Park so far.
His appearance against Lincoln on Tuesday was his first league start for more than a month and he’s fluctuated between central midfield and right-back.
If the Scotland under-21 international does get recalled by Rangers, Pompey may have to unearth someone blessed with similar versatility.
A box-to-box midfielder
Pompey weighed up a swoop for a midfielder on deadline day in the summer.
It proved a quiet day, though, with no incoming or outgoings.
However, it is an area they still may want to strengthen.
Given Morris has played just eight times since arriving from Shrewsbury last January, he might take some time to peak.
Then add in the fact the Blues considered letting him depart in the summer, Jackett still may want to bolster his options.
Tom Naylor is Pompey's police enforcer, with Ben Close currently the skipper’s engine-room partner.
Cannon is also challenging for one of those berths, while Anton Walkes can feature in the role.
But Jackett may seek a box-to-box midfielder, someone in the ilk of Ben Thompson, to really give him a presence in the middle of the park.