‘I’ll remember this season forever’: Manchester City loanee’s Portsmouth debt of gratitude as he’s linked with Sheffield United and Preston North End

Gavin Bazunu paid tribute to Pompey for providing him with the experience to allow him make giant strides in his career.
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Bazunu made what is certain to be his final home appearance in Tuesday’s enthralling comeback victory over title contenders Wigan.

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The 20-year-old has seen his stock go through the roof this season, after spending last term on loan at relegated Rochdale.

Bazunu has become an established Republic of Ireland international and picked up widespread plaudits for his form.

The former Shamrock Rovers man has paid an emotional tribute to his home for the past nine months.

He made it clear the role Pompey have played in his development won’t be forgotten as he continues his rise.

Bazunu said: ‘I’ve enjoyed my time here so much.

Gavin BazunuGavin Bazunu
Gavin Bazunu
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‘I think the biggest thing for me was to play in front of fans again, because of what I missed at Rochdale last year because of Covid.

‘So I don’t think I could have come anywhere better in terms of fans and the support.

‘There’s the pressure to perform, which is something you have to have to play at the top level.

‘I’ve just enjoyed every minute of it.

‘Yes definitely (he’s grown as a player).

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‘The experience I’ve gained, I’ve played nearly 50 games in the last nine months at club and international level.

‘The experience I’ve had I wouldn’t have got anywhere else.

‘So to play so many games, have ups and downs and learn from mistakes is so important going into next year.

‘The amount of ups and downs and crazy matches, but the things I’ve taken from it.

‘The amount of things I’ve been able to experience internationally because of the structure here at Portsmouth has been massive.’

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Bazunu also had words of thanks for both Danny and Nicky Cowley and the faith they have put in him.

The Pompey boss was adamant the Irishman was the man he wanted between the sticks, despite Rochdale being relegated in his time there - leaking 78 league goals in the process.

That conviction has emphatically been rewarded this term.

Bazunu added: ‘Danny and Nicky have given me such responsibility in the way I play, have allowed me to express myself so much and be involved in the plans for the games. That’s been so important for my development.’