Shropshire Star reporter Lewis Cox gives his verdict on incoming Pompey signing Bryn Morris...
Morris is a lovely footballer, a cultured player. I haven’t seen many in League One that can pass a ball like him.
Whether it be a crossfield pass or delivery from 50, 60 or 70 yards, the midfielder has it in his locker, so neat and tidy in possession.
I would describe him as a deep-lying playmaker. He’s not an attacking midfielder, no box-to-box performer, but someone who can look after himself and dictate play from a holding role.
Often last season he operated as the one in Shrewsbury’s 4-1-4-1 system. He will also slot right into Portsmouth’s 4-2-3-1 formation as a holding midfielder.
Last term under Paul Hurst, the Shrews reached Wembley twice, with Morris always first reserve midfield. Having said that, he still made 30 appearances, with 13 League One starts.
A lot of people wanted to see more of him, but there were some good midfielders around at the time. Since then, Ben Godfrey has returned to parent club Norwich, Jon Nolan joined Ipswich and Abu Ogogo switched to Coventry.
John Askey arrived in the summer as manager and recruited six central midfielders – with Morris instead going out on loan to Wycombe for regular football.
Portsmouth were actually interested this time last year, but nothing came of it. Morris was expected to join Luton this month, only for Nathan Jones leaving to scupper that and instead he is on his way to Fratton Park.
Shrewsbury supporters had been hoping he would stay around and feature in the first-team following his return from Wycombe earlier this month.
That hasn’t materialised – and I don’t blame him wanting to go elsewhere.
Although not first choice for a significant part of last season, it was a surprise to see him loaned out to the Chairboys in the summer rather than handed a first-team chance here.
In fairness, once again Shrewsbury have a number of decent midfielders, but how Morris doesn’t fit into the plan is a bit beyond me.
Instead there is the experience of Anthony Grant, the impressive Greg Docherty on loan from Rangers, Oliver Norburn signed for a club-record fee and the highly-rated Josh Laurent.
So many new midfielders – and something had to give.
I think Morris will be a good signing for Portsmouth, and a player of capable of featuring in the Championship.