The positions Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett could look to bolster as he targets five more signings
Kenny Jackett has designs on recruiting up to five more players this summer.
James Bolton is currently Pompey’s only signing so far, having moved to Fratton Park on a free transfer following his departure from Shrewsbury earlier this month.
But while the Blues’ activity in the transfer window has been fairly slow compared to some of their other League One rivals, Jackett & Co are clearly putting the hard yards in behind the scenes.
With the potential of a quintet still to come to Fratton Park, we’ve looked at which areas Pompey might be looking to strengthen.
Matt Clarke’s impending departure to Brighton will mean a massive void needs filling in central defence.
Whoever arrives is going to have huge boots to fill given the brilliant form the Seagulls-bound defender displayed on the south coast during the past four seasons.
Christian Burgess ended last campaign as Clarke’s central-defensive partner and a replacement needs to be sought.
Kenny Jackett is a long-time admirer of Paul Downing, who’s available on a free following his release from Blackburn.
But with Pompey set to receive a significant fee for the sale of Clarke, it’ll give them the scope to splash out on a replacement.
Blackpool’s Curtis Tilt is a named linked but wouldn’t come cheap, while Oldham’s George Edmundson appears set to join Rangers.
2. Centre-back (2)
With Jack Whatmough sidelined until the new year, Jackett planned to bring in a centre-half regardless of Clarke’s situation.
Youngster Matt Casey is the only other recognised central defender at Fratton Park.
It’s unlikely Jackett sees him ready to deputise on the bench during a League One promotion push.
Therefore, two centre-halves to arrive would be feasible.
As things stand, Pompey currently have three players who can operate out on the flanks.
Ronan Curtis and Jamal Lowe were Jackett’s favoured wingers throughout the majority of last term.
And while Gareth Evans mainly operated in the No10 role, he’s been a right-winger for the majority of his career.
Competition and someone to give Curtis a breather at times is required on the left-hand side.
The Blues are closing in on a deal for Gary Mackay-Steven after his departure from Aberdeen.
Some would argue it’s the most important position that needs bolstering.
Last campaign, Pompey lacked a specialist No10 fundamental to the majoirty of attacks.
Evans’ energy in away games proved important, while Brett Pitman’s re-emergence in March helped rejuvenate the Blues after an eight-match winless streak.
However, there’s a strong case neither are out-and-out attacking midfielders.
The only other recognised number 10 is Louis Dennis. But given he made just one substitute appearance in League One last term, it’s doubtful Jackett sees the former Bromley man as the answer.
Following the loan departures of James Vaughan and Omar Bogle, Pompey are in need of another striker.
Pitman and Oli Hawkins stand as Jackett’s current options and he’s previously said he needs to freshen up the positions.
The Blues lacked pace at times up top last term and that’s the sort of player the boss may chase.
Ellis Harrison is closing in on a move to Fratton Park after holding talks at the club’s Roko training base on Thursday.