Portsmouth forward’s League One debut surely coming sooner rather than later 

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When Louis Dennis arrived at Fratton Park in May, he likely never envisaged he’d still be awaiting his League One debut in December. 

The forward probably knew he hadn’t been signed from non-league Bromley to spearhead Pompey’s promotion charge.

Louis Dennis. Picture: Joe Pepler

Louis Dennis. Picture: Joe Pepler

But would he have thought he’d have got more minutes under his belt than he has so far? Undoubtedly.

Dennis’ three Blues appearances have all been in the Checkatrade Trophy, while he’s been included in a trio of league squads.

The form of Jackett’s table-toppers have forced the 26-year-old to watch the majority of his side’s games from the directors’ box.

The triumvirate of Ronan Curtis, Gareth Evans and Jamal Lowe have been vital cogs during the title push, scoring seven goals apiece.

That’s left players who’ve scored goals in the Championship like Brett Pitman and Joe Mason confined to the substitutes’ bench.

David Wheeler, on loan from QPR, has also played a support-act role. 

Opportunities have been difficult to come by for Dennis.

But his past two performances surely highlights he’ll be handed a League One opportunity sooner rather than later. 

In the 3-1 win over Tottenham under-21s last month, Dennis picked up the man-of-the-match accolade after a decent display in the No10 role. 

And he clearly took that in his stride and was buoyed with confidence against Arsenal under-21s on Tuesday.

Operating on the left flank, Dennis was one of the hosts’ chief attacking outlets in the 2-1 victory. 

His natural quality and composure on the ball came to the fore.

For Pompey’s winner, Dennis superbly swivelled on Brandon Haunstrup’s throw-in in one seamless motion.

The former Dagenham & Redbridge ace then continued his foray forward and stayed onside to receive Brett Pitman’s sumptuous back heel.

And instead of panicking at the byline, Dennis lifted his head and teed-up Andre Green for a simple finish at the back post. 

If the Blues’ FA Cup victory at Rochdale told us anything, it was that tire legs are beginning to show.

Curtis, Lowe and Evans have been virtually ever-present this term. At some stage, all three are going to need some respite and revitalise themselves for the business end of the campaign.

With the busy festive period approaching, squad rotation and management will be key. 

Jackett has players such as Pitman, Mason, Green and Wheeler to replace the trio if they’re to be given a breather. 

But Dennis’ effort against the Gunners must have given his manager food for thought.