James Bolton's impending Portsmouth arrival signals end of key man's Fratton career

James Bolton has emerged as the favourite to become Pompey’s first new face of the summer.

Friday, 7th June 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 7th June 2019, 11:10 am
James Bolton. Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

And that move signals the end of Nathan Thompson’s career at Fratton Park.

There now appears to be very few obstacles to a free transfer being finalised.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Bolton will be a powerful addition to the right side of Jackett’s defence, and is a popular figure at New Meadow where he's spent two years.

The 24-year-old made 81 appearances in that time, and was a key component of the Shrews side which reached the League One play-off final 12 months ago.

Bolton’s only goal of that memorable campaign was the decisive strike in his team's 1-0 win at Fratton Park.

James Bolton. Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

With his contract coming to a close, Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts was keen to keep the former Stoke trainee.

But it's a move to join Pompey's bid to reach the Championship which appeals - and now appears likely to be sealed.

The way has been cleared for the Bolton move by Thompson not signing a new contract.

The 28-year-old’s two-year stay at the club will now come to an end after failing to agree a new deal.

New signing James Bolton.

Thompson has been one of the key components of Jackett’s side, making 78 appearances for the club.

He became the first signing of his manager's time at Pompey, when a move instigated by Paul Cook was seen to a conclusion.

Despite some injury problems, the former Swindon man's reputation has grown - particularly over the last campaign.

Thompson established himself as one of the key components of Jackett’s team in that time - culminating in his only goal for Pompey coming in the Checkatrade Trophy win over Sunderland at Wembley.

With Premier League Brighton favourites to seal a deal for Matt Clarke, it means a new-look Pompey defence is in the offing for the new campaign.

Talks are ongoing with the Seagulls over the Blues’ prized asset moving along the south coast.