Portsmouth tracking free-scoring Notts County forward Kyle Wootton to resolve striker search

Pompey are trailing Notts County Kyle Wootton as they strive to bolster their strikeforce.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 5:41 pm
Notts County's Kyle Wootton is on Pompey's a radar. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The 25-year-old has been in outstanding form for the National League side this season, with nine goals in 19 games.

The Blues boss scouted Wootton in person at the Magpies’ FA Cup replay against Rochdale last week.

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That match ended in a 2-1 defeat for County, with the striker unable to etch his name on the scoresheet in front of Cowley.

Nonetheless, The News understands that interest remains strong in a player who has registered 46 goals in 100 appearances since arriving at Meadow Lane in August 2019.

Should they be unable to tie down their leading scorer, it could prompt the National League club to cash in on the ex-Scunthorpe man in January.

Alternatively, Pompey could opt for a pre-contract agreement and get him for free at the season’s end.

Regardless, the 6ft 2in Wootton offers target man capabilities that Cowley has long yearned for.

A summer move for Jayden Stockley collapsed at the death when he preferred to move permanently to Charlton, the club where he had spent the previous season on loan.

With the Blues unable to recruit an alternative, instead they turned to rookie striker George Hirst late in the window, signing him on loan from Leicester City.

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The 22-year-old is enjoying a rich vein of form at present and, on Tuesday night, netted his maiden Football League goal in the 3-0 win at Lincoln.

Yet Pompey’s head coach remains keen on adding a striker and centre-half to his squad when the transfer window reopens on January 1.

Wootton came through the ranks at Scunthorpe, making his first-team debut as a 17-year-old in August 2014 in a League Cup clash with Reading.

He went on to make 78 appearances for The Iron, netting 11 times, although the vast majority of his outings came from the bench.

There were also loan spells at Lincoln, North Ferriby, Cheltenham, Stevenage and Halifax for the powerful centre-forward.

However, I would be at Notts County where Wootton would flourish, after initially recruited on loan in August 2019.

He netted 16 times during a 2019-20 National League campaign which was aborted early following the coronavirus outbreak.

Halfway through that season – in January 2020 – County turned his stay into a permanent one, paying around £60,000 to secure him on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Wootton added another 17 goals in 44 appearances last term as they lost in the play-offs to Torquay.

He has maintained his scoring touch this season, prompting Pompey to eye a potential January move.

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