Kenny Jackett has revealed his thinking behind the long-term deals handed out at Pompey this summer.
The Pompey boss has recruited five players this transfer window - with three of those additions handed three-year contracts.
Paul Downing, Ellis Harrison and James Bolton were the players given the security of those terms to tempt them to Fratton Park.
Pompey have laid down an oft-repeated policy of signing young players they can develop and improve in value.
The longer deals protect those assets with the Blues losing players in recent years towards the end of their contracts.
Matt Clarke departed for Brighton with a year remaining on his deal, while Enda Stevens moved to Sheffield United three years ago as a free agent.
Jackett doesn’t want to see such a scenario develop at Pompey again, using Downing as an example of why he’s happy to hand out longer contracts.
He said: ‘In terms of being open about it, Ryan Williams has signed a two-year contract.
James Bolton is 24 and Downing is 27 coming in on a free.
‘I’m very confident Downing's a fit boy who’s coming into his peak, best years for that position. It’s really important.
‘He’s got good experience so far, but I’m comfortable as a centre-back his best years are coming.
‘I’m very happy to assess him and his career so far, back him as a player but also give him that length of contract.
‘I do think he’s going to keep improving and do well for us.
‘I do think he’s at a stage where he’s going into his key years - his best years.’
Sean Raggett has arrived on loan with Bolton to cover the losses of Clarke and Nathan Thompson.
Ryan WIlliams has been given a two-year deal with the winger and Harrison boosting the attacking area.
Jackett likes the variety of options at his disposal.
He added: ‘We’ve lost Thompson and we’ve lost Clarke.
‘They are two good defenders, but I’m pleased with the standard of defenders we’ve brought in, too.
‘We can hit the ground running and the cover is there. I’m delighted with that.
‘For Ellis and Ryan they can both complement and add something different to where we are.’