'They're the areas' - The signings Portsmouth are expected to make in the January transfer window to maintain their superiority over Bolton, Oxford, Derby & Co

League-leaders Pompey are expected to make moves during January transfer window to bolster their promotion hopes
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Pompey fans can expect a trio of new signings from sporting director Richard Hughes in the January transfer window. And the Blues might not stop there, with the club’s scouting department tasked with adding yet more up-and-coming youth to their ranks as they scour the non-league scene for potential hidden gems.

That’s the verdict of The News’ Jordan Cross who has provided an insight into what could lie ahead in the forthcoming window. Another winger to compete with the likes of Paddy Lane, Abu Kamara and Gavin Whyte - as Anthony Scully continues his rehab from knee surgey - is something that has been mooted in recent weeks, with the Blues looking to up their offensive threat.

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Back-up for Colby Bishop, who us currently nursing an ankle complaint, looks unlikely. But following more serious injuries to central defender Regan Poole and attacking midfielder Tino Anjorin, Cross believes replacements will be sought for both players. That’s despite Anjorin expected to return from his hamstring problem next month.

Speaking on the latest episode of Pompey Talk, Cross revealed his thinking on how Pompey will approach January. He said: ’I would expect at least a trio (of new signings) to come in. 

‘Before the injuries, if you’d have asked John Mousinho what he wanted, I think he wanted a winger. That was like his No1 priority. But since then, Pompey have lost Tino Anjorin and they’ve lost Regan Poole, so they are obvious areas that need looking at, with the central defensive area a real significant one. They’re the areas I would look at!

‘A striker? When they did their summer business, if the worst was to happen and Pompey lost Colby Bishop, between Christian Saydee and Kusini Yengi, they believed they had enough to fill the gap. I don’t think they envisaged how things have developed with Saydee, in terms of him playing deeper. Obviously, he can lead the line, but it’s much more of an impondrable one that, really. I’m trying to put a barometre on it but I’m not sure they would go for a striker – but it’s not totally clear to me at the moment. With Colby coming back in the new year, they might just have enough.

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‘Certainly a defender, though, and certainly a couple of wide men or attacking players who can operate in that trio of positions behind the striker.’

Pompey, of course, have had recent success in poaching younger, less experienced talent and putting them on the pathway to first-team football at Fratton Park. Former Glentoran midfielder Terry Devlin is a good example of that. And it’s an avenue Cross believes Pompey could revisit in January.

He added: ‘It’s also worth saying, I think they (Pompey) will be on the look out for young players as well. I think they’ll look for players who aren’t necessarilty ready (to start in the first team). I know for a fact, that they’re scouring the National League and they’re looking for bright young players, teeangers who aren’t quite ready yet but who could be assets for the future. That’s another element which could boost the numbers coming in in January.’

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