Portsmouth transfer latest: Why linked trio should excite the Fratton faithful and how realistic are their arrivals

There’s been plenty of developments at Fratton Park over the past few days.

By Mark McMahon
Monday, 7th June 2021, 5:42 pm

And Pompey writer Will Rooney has been on hand to answer some of the burning questions as the Blues ramp up their summer recruitment plans.

Q Plenty of names have been linked with Pompey over the weekend – Josh Sims, Jayden Stockley and Joe Morrell. They’re names which should excite the Fratton faithful.

Yeah, definitely.

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After Liam Vincent arrived, fans were probably a little bit underwhelmed after he came from non-league and is recognised as one for the future.

Fans want names that they recognise, and I dare say all three of the above are recognisable names.

Josh Sims obviously spent last season on loan at Doncaster from Southampton.

Jayden Stockley has been down here before, had a good spell at Charlton last season and scored a lot of goals for Exeter.

From left: Josh Sims, Jayden Stockley and Joe Morrell

Joe Morrell, meanwhile, is a full Wales international.

So after that period with Pompey loosely linked with players some people might not have heard off, now all of a sudden there’s real names that will have fans starting to get excited.

And that’s what you need, especially after players leaving – that little pick me up.

Q Are they all realistic targets are just part of the summer transfer mill you expect at this time of year?

From left: Josh Sims, Jayden Stockley and Joe Morrell

Well, I’ve delivered two of them, so I’d like to think they’re realistic targets!

Obviously, Danny Cowley likes these players, but they might have put the feelers out for more.

But then it comes down to balancing the budget. Who can we get out, who can’t we get in?

As we know, Pompey are working with a reduced budget, so they might have to weigh up who would suit their needs best.

From left: Josh Sims, Jayden Stockley and Joe Morrell

You might have to sacrifice one here or one there to get one.

So, it might be a struggle to get all three in this summer, especially if Jayden Stockley is going to cost a decent fee, while I can’t imagine Josh Sims’ wages are going to be too cheap.

Pompey might have to weigh up: if they can’t get all these players in, who would fit best, and what holes need filling the most?

Where should the majority of the budget go and where they can make do with ‘lesser’ players elsewhere?

So it’s just about balancing that out.

Q Morrell and Stockley would command a fee. Have Pompey a secret stash tucked away somewhere they’re not telling us about? Alternatively, does it come down to selling players like Ronan Curtis?

Ronan Curtis’ future has probably been factored into this already.

We know Curtis wants to move to the Championship and maybe Pompey are factoring in that they will sell the player to help the budget.

In terms of actual money, as we’ve quite rightly said on numerous occasions, players who are still around are still big earners, so I can’t imagine there’s loads of money in the pot.

But maybe there’s money for the right player. Maybe they’ve put some money aside to get a decent big-hitter in.

They might have said: ‘we’ve got this money for X player and the rest will do us for A, B and C’.

Maybe that’s the way they’ve worked it out.

Q Cowley has already stated he wants a target man. Is Stockley that type of player? Would he play up front with the likes of Marquis or be used up top on his own?

I think Stockley has the flexibility to play both roles – up front on his own or in partnership with Marquis, which we know Danny Cowley wants.

I think a lot of people will agree that Marquis doesn’t quite work on his own, when he’s isolated and playing with his back towards goal.

Maybe that (in a partnership with Stockely) is the best way we can see the best of Marquis as we’re yet to see what he produced at Doncaster.

So, yeah, Stockley gives you that flexibility.

But also, as a target man, with eight goals in 22 games at Charlton – that’s not a bad record either for a target man if his main remit is to hold the ball up etc.

If you’re looking at someone who might get you 15-16 goals as season, as well as being the focal point that will get others into play and get assists as well, then that’s not a bad record.

Q Would Sims moving along the M27 be seen as an issue?

I don’t think so. No.

He was at Pompey as a kid until he crossed the divide to join Southampton, which a lot of kids do.

But the reaction when I put it out on Twitter – I thought a lot of people would say ‘we don’t want him etc’.

But there were a lot of reasonable people who said ‘you know what, he’s a good player, let’s get him in’.

Probably the majority of people have said ‘I’d love to have Josh Sims in’, which is always heartening for a player.

He’ll be thinking ‘I’ll be welcomed there’.

You might get a couple of people who disagree, but you’re never going to please everyone.

So it is an interesting one, but he can be a great winger and had a superb first half of the season at Doncaster before injuries hampered him the second half of the season.

If Pompey can get him in, then he’ll be a real top-end, League One signing.

Q Ben Close and Jack Whatmough have now officially gone. Any updates on Tom Naylor, Ryan Williams and Craig MacGillivray?

Well, it looks like Williams is going to Oxford.

Andy Moon, of the BBC, said it was a possible destination and, judging by Karl Robinson’s latest quotes, he’s close to signing an experienced winger. It all adds up.

Tom Naylor – maybe he’s weighing up his options at the minute.

Obviously, Mansfield have been linked with him. Maybe he’s weighing up whether he wants to drop down to League Two as a lot of people would be surprised by that.

In terms of Craig MacGillivray, Charlton have been linked, and you can’t imagine he’s going to be short of options either.

He’s a top League One keeper and maybe a Championship club will take a gamble on Craig.

Actually, I wouldn’t call it a a gamble – he could certainly do a job in the Championship.

He also won’t be on massive wages in comparison to the Championship.

So in terms of those three, we know they’ve gone – it’s just a matter of where they are going to go to now, really.