Premier League youngster's timing is perfect as Portsmouth review period highlighted

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Pompey were first linked with Harvey Blair last July as the Blues were keen to add further youth to their ranks

He’s a player who was heavily linked with Pompey last summer.

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That decision was made easier by the knee injury suffered by Liverpool youngster Harvey Blair in July that ruled him out until December. It was further vindicated as the 20-year-old found himself back on the treatment table in the new year following another setback.

Timing is everything, though. And with Blair returning to action last weekend after a further four months out of action, he’s now got the chance to produce a strong finish to a frustrating season and put his recent injury woes behind him.

It’s also an opportunity for the highly-rated forward to remind Pompey & Co just what attracted them to his talents in the first place - at a time, too, when plans are being drawn up for the latest transfer window. Nine months have now also passed since a move to Fratton Park was first mooted, so the end of the so-called review period is fast approaching.

Back then, the Blues were joined by Aberdeen and Reading in liking what the Reds youngster, who has made one senior appearance for the Anfield club, had to offer. Pompey were keen to add youth to their ranks and Blair was seen as someone who fitted the bill.

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Doubts whether he was suited to League One football emerged, prompting John Mousinho and sporting director Rich Hughes to turn their attentions elsewhere - including Norwich loanee Abu Kamara, who have proven a huge success on the south coast.

But with the Blues likely to remain keen on recruiting emerging talent - either on loan or permanent deals - again this summer, Blair’s timing couldn’t be better.

The versatile front man made a 28-minute substitute appearances for Liverpool’s under-21s in a 1-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers at the Lancashire FA County Ground. And he’ll be keen to get more minutes under his belt as he bids to build up his fitness and sharpness before talk of another loan move away from the Premier League title-chasers emerges.

It’s an area Mousinho & Co will be keen to strengthen, with extra quality required ahead of what will likely be a Championship campaign next term. Kamara is due to head back to Norwich after a hugely successful loan stint at PO4, while fellow loanees Tino Anjorin and Myles Peart-Harris will also return to their parent clubs with the Blues unlikely to have the desire to make their loans permanent. There’s also doubts whether Anthony Scully or Gavin Whyte - two players signed on permanent deals last summer - will be what the Blues need next season if their current League One title charge does bear fruit.

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As Pompey set about their recruitment plans, though, the question is - does Blair remain on their radar, or has the Blues’ progress since last July seen them move on? In truth, only time will tell. Until then, Blair will no doubt be keen to get back to the levels he enjoyed previously and had scouts watching his every move.

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