Portsmouth transfer window exits: What Gassan Ahadme and Paul Downing have said since joining Burton and Rochdale - and what their new managers are saying

Gassan Ahadme and Paul Downing took the number of official Pompey departures this month to three.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 11:09 am

The confirmation of their respective moves to Burton and Rochdale on Thursday saw them follow Ellis Harrison out the Fratton Park door as Danny Cowley continues to make space available in his squad and budget for his own recruitment drive.

Their departures come as no surprise, with neither Ahadme or Downing making an impression on the Blues this season.

In fact, former Blackburn and Doncaster defender Downing has been unable to force his way into the first-team picture at PO4 since his switch in the summer of 2019.

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But what’s been said since their exits – by both players and their respective new managers?

Well, we’ve taken a look, along with gauging opinion from fans on social media and what Cowley has said.

Gassan Ahadme – permanent exit. 10 appearances, 1 goal

I’ve had a tough time lately and I really see this as a great opportunity for me to show what I’m capable of and I’m really looking forward to it.

Gassan Ahadme, left, and Paul Downing have both left Pompey this week.

The manager told me it is a good platform for me to show what I can do and to obviously work for him is really exciting as well.

For a tall striker I believe in my footwork.

I also like to link up play and combine with other team-mates, so hopefully I can get off to a great start and feel ready to go.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

He fits the profile of what we’re looking for in a forward - he’s mobile and has potential.

We think we can develop him and make him a better player.

We like that he plays with energy and can get around the pitch for a big forward.

We have high hopes for him and was impressed when he first saw him when he played against us in pre-season - we are happy that he’s now one of our players.

Danny Cowley

Gassan is a great kid who had an unbelievable start to life in a Pompey shirt.

He had a brilliant pre-season by scoring eight goals in four games and he brought an infectious work ethic and attitude.

He trained with a relentlessness that is to be really admired.

We have nothing but love for Gassan and we wish him so much success in the next stop in his career.

He’s a boy who is learning about the game and himself all the time.

Fans’ views

@PFCBOY19: We all really thought he was gonna be the best Pompey player ever.

@h_metherell_pfc: Not surprised he only got about 5 minutes.

@will_hill13: Ripped up pre season for nothing.

Paul Downing – loan exit. 27 appearances, 0 goals

I’m delighted to get it over the line. I didn’t take much convincing.

The conversations I’ve had with the manager were that we’ve got a good group of players and quite a young team which I can bring a bit of experience to.

I want to enjoy my football again, get as many minutes on the pitch as possible and help the team be successful.

There are a lot of games still to play, there are ambitions that we want to achieve as a team, and I can’t wait to get going.

Rochdale manager Robbie Stockdale

I’m very pleased. He’s an experienced player at a very high level.

More importantly, he’s a leader. He’s going to help us massively, both on the pitch and off it.

Getting another good character in the building is always a good thing.

We feel we’ve got some really talented young defenders and they will be learning all the time from someone like Paul. We’ve got Jim McNulty in the building who leads by example every day as well.

You can’t have enough good enough players and Paul is another one that we’ve managed to get in.’

Danny Cowley

Paul’s an excellent professional, an intelligent defender and a really, really good human being.

We wish him nothing but success moving forward.

Unfortunately for us this season, he has picked up injuries at the wrong time.

He found a really good way into pre-season and picked injuries up, he just hasn’t been able to find his way back into the team.

Paul’s a really good professional and we wish him nothing but success.

Fans’ views

@abbygal1964: Sorry your time at our Club didn't work out the way you intended. But it's not entirely your fault. So Good Luck for the future, Paul & family. And hope everything goes well.

@DarrenLammas: Good luck to him. Never given a fair chance at Pompey.

@pompeypaul72: Good luck Paul. Hope it works out and you get playing again.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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