Kenny Jackett: We need Leon Maloney at Portsmouth - he's not going out on loan

Leon Maloney will not be granted a loan spell away from Fratton Park.

Monday, 30th September 2019, 5:59 pm
Updated Monday, 30th September 2019, 7:17 pm

Fellow Academy graduates Joe Hancott and Bradley Lethbridge have been loaned to the Rocks, while the older Matt Casey is at the Hawks.

Yet the Blues currently have no plans to also send out Maloney in search of match minutes to boost his development.

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Instead, the Isle of Wight youngster is earmarked to serve as first-team cover – and feature in forthcoming reserve fixtures.

Maloney, who has made two starts this term, is pencilled in to line-up against Bournemouth (7pm) in Tuesday night's Central League Cup clash at the PMC Stadium.

And with the Trophy trip to Oxford United (October 8) also on the 18-year-old’s calendar, Jackett believes there remains opportunities here.

Jackett said: ‘At the moment we aren’t looking to loan out Leon. The best thing for him is to stay in.

Pompey are not prepared to loan out Leon Maloney as he is required for the first-team squad. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘If he wasn’t getting any games or getting close to it, it would be different, we would loan him out, such as Matt Casey.

‘I don’t feel that way with Leon, though, it’s best he stays in and around here.

‘He deserves it with his performances. We have further games in the Trophy, the Premier League Cup and the Hampshire Senior Cup, so there’s quite a lot of games for us.

‘Similarly, if we get injuries to wingers, he comes into it as well.

‘So far it has been a good season for him. With the exposure and experience he’s got, he should be encouraged how it has gone for him.’

Maloney made his first-team debut in January 2019 at Southend in the Checkatrade Trophy.

This season he has started against both Crawley and Norwich under-21s in the rebranded competition.

Jackett added: ‘If Leon suddenly turns up on the bench for us, then we don’t want to leave ourselves short.

‘Similarly, he’s had two Trophy games, with the plan he will get a third, and plenty of Premier League Cup games for him, too.

‘That is exactly what he needs after going from under-18 football.’