Jamal Lowe is primed to shine in the Championship.
That’s the verdict of Gary Roberts, who is adamant the talented winger is ready to negotiate the next level.
Pompey have rejected £1.5m bids from Millwall and Wigan as they battle to retain last season’s top scorer.
That isn’t expected to dampen interest in the ever-improving 24-year-old, with the Blues holding out for nearer £3m.
Roberts was at Fratton Park when Lowe landed in League Two from Hampton & Richmond in January 2017.
And the Wigan attacker is convinced the youngster has now developed sufficiently to make his mark in Championship football.
Roberts said: ‘Jamal was a breath of fresh air when he arrived, he really was.
‘A lovely kid, lovely kid, he came into Pompey so hungry to do well.
‘It was his energy, his raw pace, I don’t think he gets enough credit but he doesn’t half work his socks off and has ability.
‘He has got better with every season and I think will make his move this year into the Championship, not yet to the Premier League.
‘I’ve seen enough of the Championship now to say he will be comfortable in that level, definitely.
‘Jamal’s genuinely a good player, has an eye for goal and is humble. When you’ve had that non-league grounding it gives you that little bit extra and you can see how much he wants to do well.
‘Sorry, it’s not good news for Pompey fans, but I think he might come to the Championship and one or two might take him.
‘I have seen enough of the Championship to think he’ll do really well.’
Lowe memorably climbed off the bench at Notts County in April 2017 to earn Pompey promotion to League One.
Replacing Carl Baker, the winger netted twice in the final 13 minutes to secure a 3-1 triumph – and enter Fratton folklore.
For Roberts, that match epitomised Lowe’s determination to swiftly make a Football League impact.
He added: ‘I came from non-league myself and you are desperate for a chance – Jamal was similar, he just wanted to show people how good he was.
‘I loved his energy every day in training, although I would imagine he’s now probably a little bit more confident in himself with all his goals and assists!
‘He deserved his chance to break into that team in the end – and it was a hard side to break into.
‘Bakes was an experienced and good player, Benno was on the other flank, so Jamal did really well to break into that team. To see him kick on is no surprise.’