Portsmouth transfers: Danny Cowley pinpoints the key qualities that made him move for former Sheffield United and Swansea full-back Kieron Freeman
Danny Cowley has spelt out exactly why he’s made Kieron Freeman his latest new addition at Fratton Park.
The one-time Blues loanee has returned to the south coast following his release by Championship Swansea at the end of the season.
The 29-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Pompey – with the club having the option of an additional 12 months – and represents the sixth new arrival during the summer transfer window.
Cowley admitted the experienced full-back, who has been training with the squad since the return to pre-season, was offered better financial terms from elsewhere as rivals joined the chase for his signature.
But with Freeman opting to make the journey back to PO4, following a seven-game loan stay during the 2015-16 campaign, it was little wonder the head coach waxed lyrical about the new boy upon his confirmation as a Pompey player.
Indeed, pinpointing key elements of the qualities the Wales international will bring to the group both on and off the pitch, Cowley admitted the signing represented another ‘important’ bit of business in his Blues rebuild.
He said: ‘We’re delighted to sign someone of Kieron’s calibre, who has appeared in every professional league in English football.
‘Pompey fans will obviously know him quite well from his short loan spell here during the Paul Cook era.
‘Since then he’s gone on to be part of an outstanding Sheffield United side that went from League One to the Premier League.
‘He’s an overlapping attacking full-back and adds real top-end quality to our squad.
‘Technically, he’s a very good player.
‘I like the fact that even with what he’s achieved in his career so far, he comes to us with a point to prove because last season (when he was without a club until January following his Sheffield United release) would have been a frustrating one for him.
‘Kieron has been with us for the first 10 days of pre-season and his attitude and work ethic have impressed us.
‘We try to sign people before players and have enjoyed seeing him up close, while I think he’s enjoyed seeing us as well.
‘We’ve got some talented young full-backs in our squad and to have the experience of someone who’s fought his way up the divisions is valuable. He can help the group on and off the pitch.’
Cowley added Freeman’s decision to chose Pompey over potentially more lucrative deals elsewhere said a lot about the Blues’ pulling power as well.
He added: ‘There were a couple of other offers that were financially more rewarding, but he wanted to come here and I think that says everything about the club.
‘He’s tasted Pompey before and knows what it’s like to appear at Fratton Park in front of our supporters, which went a big way in convincing him to continue his career with us.
‘The fact he’s been a part of promotion-winning teams and knows what it takes is really important to us.’