Leon Maloney says his Portsmouth goodbyes - but some fans not happy with departure to FC Volendam
Leon Maloney thanked Pompey for their role in his development and giving him the chance to further his career away from Fratton Park.
The 18-year-old winger completed a move to Dutch side FC Volendam for an undisclosed fee on Thursday.
The switch ended his 10-year association with the Blues as the Isle of Wight ace departed with five senior appearances to his name.
After making his debut in last season’s run to Checkatrade Trophy success against Southend, the teenager made four more outings for Kenny Jackett’s side this term – all in the same competition.
Maloney also netted his maiden Blues goal – the opener in the 2-1 victory over Northampton back in December – as he appeared to be the latest academy product ready to step up to the senior team on a regular basis.
However, the third-year scholar has now cut short his Pompey stay to link up with former Holland international Wim Jonk at the Eerste Divisie side.
And in a goodbye message via Twitter, he thanked the Blues ahead of a brand new challenge.
Maloney tweeted: ‘Can’t wait to get started at @fcvolendam, what an opportunity that I have been given and can’t wait for the challenge ahead!
‘Would also like to thank @Pompey for the 10 years of being at the club and giving me this chance PUP #groetjesleon.’
With the youngster clearly excited at the prospect of plying his trade in Holland, it’s fair to say the news hasn’t gone down well among sections of the Fratton faithful.
Some are disappointed with the move, with many hoping the Blues would have benefitted from Maloney’s rising stock.
Commenting on the news via Facebook, Kane Willis said: ‘Massive mistake another great talent we are letting go, the way we bring through players from the academy is a absolute joke.’
Christopher Elston added: ‘I sincerely hope we don't regret this. When I have seen him play, he has been exciting and could end up like Matt Ritchie. Good luck to him.’
‘Most exciting young player I've seen for years and they get rid. Total joke,’ said Jo Blackman.
Meanwhile, Frank Hoskins posted: ‘The problem is we do not have the correct structure to develop these players. ie reserve teams etc.
‘How are the Eisners ever going to realise their ambitions of producing home grown talent for the team if we let potentially good players leave.’
Jason Butcher, on the other hand, saw it differently.
He said: ‘Let’s see shall we. Depends on the fee we got.
‘He wasn’t going to get ahead of Curtis, Harness, Williams or Evans this season, & if we go up he wouldn’t (probably) get in the team then (with new players inevitable when promoted).’