‘Next level’: Portsmouth boss details Championship transfer plan ahead of massive summer

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Pompey’s Championship recruitment plan will return to a focus on assets who can improve the club in the long term.

And that means avoiding commitment to players stepping down from higher levels and saddling the club with their hefty salaries.

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Boss John Mousinho pointed to a shift in policy in January, which placed emphasis on putting a squad in place with the depth to get his club over in the League One title race. 

It was an approach which proved crucial as injuries hit hard, with five new faces recruited, Josh Martin handed fresh terms and experienced free agent Lee Evans arriving.

Pompey, however, have broadly taken the approach of bringing in additions who can grow with the football club and improve as assets, since Rich Hughes’s arrival in September 2023.

That has often led to a focus on bringing in younger, exciting additions like Paddy Lane, Ryley Towler, Kusini Yengi, Callum Lang, Regan Poole and Tom McIntyre, who are all 25 or under.

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Mousinho explained it’s not an approach which is exclusive to bright, young things, but the emphasis will be on ramping up an an ethos which has served the club well.

He said: ‘The strategy for us is to make sure we invest in players who can improve.

‘A lot of the time it is younger players, but it’s not just about age. If we are going to buy players, it’s players we believe can get better at this football club.

‘We’re certainly avoiding what can sometimes plague football clubs when you get players from higher divisions who move down and can be a slight burden on what you do as a football club.

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‘If you look at the recruitment we did in the first window it was Matt Macey as a keeper on loan, then Ryley Towler and Paddy Lane who we bought. Then we bought in Di’Shon Bernard who is another really good prospect.

‘That’s the sort of strategy we were working on to make the football club better in the future.

‘It’s been a combination this year but, particularly in January, it was about making sure we had enough players to get us over the line.

‘Having said, that, when we recruited in January there were still players we thought could go to the next level who could improve. 

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‘So we are still sticking to that strategy as a football club and making sure we get the combination between being competitive, buying players who can make us better and hopefully take Portsmouth to the next level. Then they are assets for the football club and that’s great as well.’

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