Mark Catlin's delight: Portsmouth have left transfer window stronger than we went in

Mark Catlin reflected on Pompey’s transfer window business and insisted: We’ve come out stronger than we went in.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 6:00 am
Mark Catlin is delighted with Pompey's transfer window business after the arrivals of four new players. Picture: Habibur Rahman

There was no deadline day activity at Fratton Park yesterday, with the club indicating early on further recruitment was not anticipated.

Instead the Blues were satisfied with their January window haul of four new signings, with three departing the south coast.

By the end of last week, Kenny Jackett had added keeper Lewis Ward, left-back Charlie Daniels and midfielders Harvey White and George Byers to his ranks.

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That’s how it remained on deadline day as promotion rivals hurried to finalise their own transfer business.

And Catlin is convinced promotion-hunting Pompey’s squad is now better equipped to achieve their ambition.

The Blues’ chief executive told The News: ‘You never know, I tend to judge a window on how you went into it and how you finish the season.

‘That will reflect on whether you had a good January or not.

‘There was the year we lost Ben Thompson, Jack Whatmough through injury, Andre Green went back, as did David Wheeler.

‘That window was more about the players we lost rather than players we got in, they were difficult acts to follow.

‘Whereas this transfer window, Cameron Pring was recalled and we signed Charlie Daniels to replace him, so we’ll see how that pans out.

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‘Apart from that we haven’t lost any key players. There’s a feeling that we have a solid foundation and belief we have added quality.

‘We extended Jordy during the window, Rasmus is committed until the end of the season contractually, and bringing in White, Byers and Daniels does seem to me to be a stronger side than when we started January.

‘But the proof will be in the pudding and how we perform in the next three months.’

Of the three to have left Fratton Park, Cam Pring has returned to Bristol City while Bryn Morris (Northampton) and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (Southend) have headed out of loan.

That brings Pompey’s squad to the 22-man maximum – while staying within League One’s £2.5m salary cap.

Catlin added: ‘The salary cap has its good and bad points and one of the good is you can’t be held to ransom by players and their agents.

‘They can no longer say X club is offering three or four times what you are prepared to offer.

‘Predominantly, players know the constraints themselves, so it’s not like that he can go to another club offering three times more than us because all clubs are in the same position.

‘We are aware of the rules, we know on average what we can pay per player and what’s left, so it does come down to the player’s personal choice at that point.’

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