Portsmouth transfers: Former Blackburn and Doncaster Rovers defender Paul Downing makes Rochdale switch to end nightmare stay at Fratton Park

Paul Downing’s much-anticipated Pompey departure has been confirmed.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 5:26 pm

The centre-back has left Fratton Park to join League Two Rochdale on loan for the remainder of the season.

And with the 30-year-old out of contract at the end of the season, it affectively means he’s made his last appearance for the Blues.

Downing’s move to the Crown Oil Arena ends a forgettable two-and-a-half-year stay at PO4, where he featured just 27 times – nine of which were league starts.

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His last game for Pompey came as an 89th-minute substitute against Wycombe back on November 13 – one of only four outings for Danny Cowley’s side this season.

Speaking ahead of his Dale switch, Cowley told The News: ‘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.

Paul Downing has joined Rochdale on loan for the remainder of the season.

‘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.’

Downing is the second Blues player to leave this month, following Ellis Harrison through the exit door.

The duo are set to be followed by Norwich loanne Gassan Ahadme, who’s move to Burton is expected to be announced in the next 24 hours.