On this day: Portsmouth eye swoop for Southampton's Nathan Dyer

Nathan Dyer during his Southampton days
Nathan Dyer during his Southampton days
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On this day in 2006, Pompey were eyeing up a raid on Southampton for teenage sensation Nathan Dyer.

The pacy winger had emerged as a prime target for Harry Redknapp as he looked to bolster his squad.

The Blues had already incurred the then Championship side’s wrath after they snatched England under-21 defender Martin Cranie that summer.

And a cheeky return for Dyer would have represented another blow to their south-coast rivals, who had been forced to sell off a clutch of their starlets over the previous two years. 

Tony Adams attended Saints’ last match against West Brom to watch the winger, who was enjoying an impressive campaign.

It had been previously thought Pompey’s assistant boss had been keeping tabs on Andrew Surman, after being spotted in the crowd for a then recent game against QPR.

But in fact it was Dyer who was interesting Redknapp – the man who gave Dyer his debut two years previous while Saints boss.

The 19-year-old has been compared to Shaun Wright-Phillips – in stature and playing style – and was out of contract at the end of that season.

Speaking to The News at the time, Adams admitted Pompey had been closely monitoring him

He said: ‘I was at their game against West Brom but I wasn’t watching Andrew Surman – he got dropped as well. 

‘I quite like the look of Nathan Dyer and he’s one we’ve been looking at for a while.

‘When Harry says “We need somebody on the right, do you know anyone?” I have to come up with options.

‘I watched Dyer against West Brom on Saturday and he’s a good, young player.

‘At the moment I’m looking all over the place, I’m always looking. When you play Sundays it helps because you get an opportunity to look on the Saturday. 

‘Joe Jordan looks, Paul Groves looks. That part of the club has really gone right up, it really has improved. 

‘But yes, we’ve been watching Dyer.’ 

Dyer was a member of the Southampton youth team who reached the FA Youth Cup final in 2005. 

Cranie and Theo Walcott were also part of that side who lost against Ipswich in extra-time.

Both had since progressed to the Premier League. 

By then Dyer had gone on to make 52 first-team appearances, scoring three times.

But in the 2006-07 season he had really caught the eye with some consistent performances on the right-hand side of George Burley’s midfield.