Doncaster's John Marquis can be the final piece of Portsmouth's summer jigsaw

A marksman with a renowned record of delivering goals can prove difficult to come by in League One.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 5:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 6:48 pm

And on the rare occasions they do, a substantial outlay is required.

But for a fee well north of £1m, Pompey are closing in on bringing the prolific John Marquis to Fratton Park.

At the beginning of the transfer window, the striker’s name was coveted by large sections of supporters when throwing up their dream shopping list.

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After netting 26 goals at the Keepmoat Stadium last season – and 67 over three campaigns – Marquis has forged himself a reputation as a deadly finisher in the third tier.

Given his record in the lower leagues, a step up to the Championship seemed the logical step when expected to leave Donny this summer.

So the fact the 27-year-old will be prised to PO4 is undoubtedly a major coup pulled off by Kenny Jackett.

It’s another statement of intent from the Blues in pursuit of promotion, another piece of business that’ll be envied by the rest of the division.

John Marquis is closing in on a switch to Pompey. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Firstly it was the loan arrival Ross McCrorie, who’s regarded as a future Rangers skipper.

Then it was Marcus Harness who moved from Burton for a fee approaching seven figures.

But Marquis' capture is the final piece of what already looked a shrewd transfer window from Pompey.

If there was one area Jackett’s squad still appeared slightly short, it was in the striking department.

With Brett Pitman regarded as a number 10, it meant only Ellis Harrison and Oli Hawkins could spearhead Pompey’s attack.

Both will graft in and selflessly let others take the plaudits, but there’s an argument neither are 20-goal-a-season players.

And while Jamal Lowe proposed move to Wigan will prove a blow after netting 17 times last term, replacing him with Marquis provides more overall balance to Pompey’s squad.

There’s no longer just Jackett’s desired two players for every position in the forward department but three.

Up top, Marquis, Harrison and Hawkins will vie for the what’s likely to be the striking berth in the boss’ favoured 4-2-3-1 system.

Then in the hole behind, Jackett’s able to select from the likes of Pitman, Gareth Evans, Andy Cannon and Louis Dennis – all offer various attributes.

Out wide, meanwhile, it’ll be Harness, Ronan Curtis and, when fit, Ryan Williams, fighting for a spot while Evans is also capable of operating on the flank.

The Blues already had a squad capable of pushing for automatic promotion without Marquis.

However, news of the former Millwall ace arriving will mean those with bets on Pompey to go up will feel a lot more confident.