Insider: League One below the level of Portsmouth newcomer Michael Jacobs on basis of previous Wigan seasons

Impressive Michael Jacobs has previously shown League One is below his level.

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 6:30 am
Winger Michael Jacob has signed for Pompey on a free transfer from Wigan. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

That’s the verdict of Wigan Today reporter Paul Kendrick, who has closely followed the winger’s five seasons at the DW Stadium.

Jacobs made 188 appearance and scored 32 times after moving to Wigan from Wolves in July 2015.

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Crucially, his spell with the Latics also involved two promotions from League One – experience Kenny Jackett hopes can inspire his own side.

And Kendrick is convinced the 28-year-old can make a substantial impact at Fratton Park.

He told The News: ‘Michael Jacobs is an excellent League One player.

‘During his time at Wigan, they spent two seasons in League One – and won the league on both occasions.

‘He excelled in each of those campaigns and looked like he was playing below his level, such was the quality of his performances.

‘In both of those title seasons, he would be regarded as among the team’s top four or five performers, he was that important.

‘Last season, in the Championship, he had become a solid squad man, capable of starting on either flank and a good, dependable, hard-working player.

‘However, he was spending more time on the bench, even if he was usually first off it when changes had to be made.

‘For League One level, though, this looks like a very good deal for both Pompey and the player.

‘Every time Jacobs has been at that standard he has killed it, he’s been so good. It’s just that he hasn’t stepped up to the Championship as well as others in that League One team.

‘That’s not to say he can’t do it, though.

‘He’s not one of these wingers that runs to the byline with pace and crosses the ball, Jacobs is more of a dribbler who works hard, gets back and is capable of scoring goals.

‘There’s a good reason why he’s such a popular player among the squad – he’s somebody really appreciated by his team-mates.’

Jacobs has been earmarked to operate in the number 10 role in Jackett’s favoured 4-2-3-1 system.

It has recently been filled Gareth Evans, who started the opening three matches of the season in the position.

And although Jacobs largely featured wide on the left or right for Wigan, Kendrick believes he could also perform effectively in the hole behind the striker.

He added: ‘Jacobs plays most of his football either wide right or wide left. I can think of very few appearances as a number 10, certainly not while has been at Wigan.

‘He’s right footed, but likes to cut in from the left and shoot – and he does have a good shot on him.

‘Wigan have played 4-2-3-1 since Paul Cook arrived, with Jacobs wide on the left or the right, but it wouldn’t be a great stretch to also feature as a number 10.

‘He’s a very good dribbler, gets hid head down and, before you know it, is 50 yards up the field.

‘I think he’ll be a very good signing for Pompey.’

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