Kenny Jackett believes John Marquis is the sort of striker Portsmouth lacked last season

John Marquis can prove to be the striker Pompey lacked last season.

Sunday, 4th August 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Sunday, 4th August 2019, 7:00 am
Pompey forward John Marquis Picture: Simon Davies

That’s the verdict of Kenny Jackett, who is confident the front man can thrive at Fratton Park.

Marquis completed his move to Fratton Park from Doncaster on Wednesday – for a fee that could rise to £2m with add-ons.

The 27-year-old arrives with a reputation as one of the most prolific marksmen in the lower leagues, after scoring 67 goals across three campaigns at the Keepmoat Stadium.

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During last season’s failed League One promotion bid, the Blues lacked a front man who netted on a consistent basis.

Oli Hawkins finished with 10 efforts, while January loanees Omar Bogle (four) and James Vaughan (0) also struggled to find rhythm in the final third.

And despite notching 25 times during the 2017-18 campaign, Brett Pitman was mainly used as a number 10 when he got a sustained run in the starting XI.

Up front is an area Jackett admitted Pompey needed to address.

Although he signed Ellis Harrison for £450,000 from Ipswich earlier in the window, the Pompey boss still felt he needed another forward.

And despite admitting the substantial fee the Blues paid for Marquis is a risk, Jackett feels it was one worth taking.

The manager said: ‘There’s always a risk – there’s a risk in every signing whether you pay money or not.

‘I felt very confident bringing in John. He’s someone I worked with before (at Millwall) and I do know him as a person.

‘My assessment is he’s coming into his peak years and I’m really pleased to bring him here.

‘We are and will be a better club and a better team with John.

‘A centre-forward is such a key position, such a big one

‘No disrespect to the lads who played there last season, but by the end I did feel we needed some more options in that area.

‘If other lads fight back and come into it then that’s fantastic but over the season we did need more options.

‘I'm very confident with John as a player and person.

‘I think it’s a very good signing in what he’s done but, most importantly, what he’s going to do in the next couple of years.’

To cover his departure, though, Pompey had already signed Marquis and Marcus Harness from Burton Albion.

Jackett conceded how he set up his side over the past two campaigns centred around Lowe.

The winger plundered 17 goals and nine assists for the Blues last term and earned a spot in the League One Team of the Season.

However, Jackett is adamant the arrivals of Marquis and Harness will make up for the absence of Lowe.

The manager added: ‘Our squad planning is based around the exits and there's no doubt about that.

‘Even in recent weeks, with Jamal Lowe going out and Harness and Marquis coming in there’s a direct link.

‘Do the dynamics slightly change then? Over the past two seasons, we strongly played towards Jamal Lowe – and quite rightly so because he deserved that.

‘The dynamics then slightly change to playing slightly another way. As long as it proves effective and a winning team then you don't mind.’