Last-gasp drama of Millwall man's arrival fails to lift low-key deadline day for Portsmouth

Pompey completed the loan signing of Millwall’s Mahlon Romeo with minutes to spare on deadline day.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 11:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 11:22 pm
Danny Cowley welcome Millwall right-back Mahlon Romeo to Fratton Park, but otherwise it was a low-key transfer deadline day. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Yet otherwise it was a low-key end to a summer transfer window which totalled 14 new arrivals at Fratton Park.

That leaves him with Harrison, John Marquis and George Hirst as his centre-forwards in a position he will be desperately disappointed not to have strengthened further.

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Harrison would have been the key to adding a new recruit, with his potential departure creating space in the playing budget – yet a switch to Plymouth failed to progress.

Meanwhile, the Owls eventually turned their attention elsewhere, instead signing Saido Berahino from Zulte Waregem this afternoon.

The sole deadline day departure from Fratton Park was Haji Mnoga joining Bromley on loan until January.

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The 19-year-old committed his future to Pompey by signing a three-year deal ahead of the move to the non-leaguers, which will provide crucial first-team opportunities.

The arrival of Romeo on a season-long loan to provide right-back competition to Kieron Freeman enabled the Blues to send out Mnoga in the knowledge they have positional cover.

While the Millwall man represented the sole new face, completed 10 minutes before deadline, Cowley was boosted by Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness remaining at Fratton Park.

The possibility of late transfer interest from the Championship in the pair failed to emerge.

Curtis had been coveted by Preston, Cardiff and Blackburn since the start of the summer as he eyed stepping up a level to test himself.

While earlier in August, Danny Cowley admitted he anticipated Championship interest in Harness before the transfer window ended.

Now he has the wing pair until January at the very least, with both regarded as first-choice for the Blues when fit and available – and excellent League One performers.

In the case of Curtis, it is hoped clarity over his future can now help him refocus following a disappointing personal start the campaign, with no goals or assists.

Cowley was unwilling to lose the 31-year-old, who is an integral part of the dressing room and his first-choice left-back.

Overall, Cowley welcomed 14 new faces to Pompey during his first transfer window in charge.

They include Liam Vincent, Clark Robertson, Shaun Williams, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Gavin Bazunu, Kieron Freeman, Gassan Ahadme, Jayden Reid, Connor Ogilvie, Hirst, Joe Morrell, Louis Thompson and Miguel Azeez.

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