Portsmouth boss' verdict on how Alex Bass Sunderland deal strengthens transfer position as he reveals reasons for allowing ex-Bradford City loanee to leave

Danny Cowley is adamant Pompey have sealed a good deal for the club after Alex Bass departed for Sunderland.

By Jordan Cross
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 10:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 10:26 pm
Alex Bass has joined Sunderland
Alex Bass has joined Sunderland

And the Blues boss has explained his reasons for letting the academy graduate join the Championship side on a three-year deal.

Bass has completed the move to Wearside, where he will vie for second-tier playing time next season.

The likes of ambitious League Two side Crawley and League One new boys Exeter City were keen on the former Bradford City loanee.

But once the Black Cats’ interest became clear a move to the north east quickly accelerated for the man who made his senior debut at Fratton Park six years ago.

Cowley has given his reaction to news of the deal and is pleased with what Pompey received for the 24-year-old, who was in the final year of his agreement.

The Blues boss believes that return gives him some more flexibility in his playing budget as he chases further attacking recruits.

Cowley said: ‘Alex is a great kid with fantastic work ethic and a great attitude.

‘He had a League One club and League Two club who made offers and he wanted to kickstart his season.

‘I think for him the ambition was to find some rhythm and play first-team football regularly.

‘The Sunderland option came out of nowhere.

‘It was a very good deal for the club and it was a good deal for Alex.

‘We wish him nothing but success moving forward.

‘He had a year left on his contract and we’ve been well remunerated and a good solution for all parties.

‘Exactly that (he has to work every penny he can out of his budget), exactly that.’

It seemed clear from soon after Cowley’s arrival in March of last year, Bass wasn’t someone he saw as chiming with his game idea of having keepers comfortable in possession of the ball.

Gavin Bazunu was recruited from Manchester City on loan with Bass moving to Bradford over the second half of the campaign.

This summer Josh Griffiths came in on a temporary deal from West Brom - effectively signalling the end of Bass’ time at Fratton Park.

Cowley has given his thinking on making a ‘tough’ decision over his future.

He added: ‘Alex lost some momentum because he had a broken leg and a recurring fracture in the same place.

‘So he lost a whole season of football, so as a consequence when we came in there wasn’t so much footage of him playing in a team the way we do.

‘So we had to make a decision in a vital position on the pitch and Gavin came in, and it would’ve been tough for anyone to get in front of him.

‘I think he went out and had a good loan at Bradford.

‘We had a clear conversation at the end of the season and he needs to play.

‘It would’ve been no good for us or him if he was to be number two this year - and sometimes ‘you have to make tough decisions.’