Portsmouth's George Edmundson bid is statement of intent - but Blues have the potential to go even further

Thirty days have passed since Sunderland shattered Pompey promotion hopes in the League One play-off semi-finals.

By Mark McMahon
Saturday, 15th June 2019, 2:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 15th June 2019, 4:29 pm
Pompey target George Edmundson Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images
Pompey target George Edmundson Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images

During that time, Blues boss Kenny Jackett has been credited with an interest in 25 players - which works out at nearly one a day.

Meanwhile, transfer talk hasn't just focused on potential new arrivals, with the futures of Matt Clarke and Jamal Lowe very much powering the rumour mill, too.

Although, it's very much a case of when, not if, Clarke calls time on his time at Fratton Park.

It therefore promises to be another intriguing summer in and around PO4.

But with the Blues currently having a conversion rate of just one when it comes to new arrivals during the present close season, fans could be forgiven for being a tad frustrated.

And even then James Bolton's free transfer move from Shrewsbury hardly registered on the Blues Richter scale.

Pompey target George Edmundson Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images

It's not his fault, but many of the Fratton faithful would have preferred Nathan Thompson to commit his future to the club rather than forcing Jackett to focus part of his attention on a new right-back.

The mood around these parts wouldn't have been helped either by a certain Mo Eisa signing for Peterborough for a reported fee that shattered the London Road side’s previous £1.25m record transfer layout.

Not that the former Blues target would have necessarily been the answer to a department Jackett is determined to bolster.

Rather, it's the statement a signing of that nature sends out to rivals.

And with the Posh clearly intent on building on their seventh-place finish last season with a flurry of signings that grab the attention - the competition for three promotion spots to the Championship next term just got that bit tougher.

However, amid such a back drop, there may just be light at the end of the tunnel that suggests Pompey are also intent in making others sit up and take notice.

The significant bid they've had accepted for in-demand Oldham centre-half George Edmundson is proof that the Blues are serious in their efforts to find a replacement for Clarke who will appease those fans understandably disappointed by his impending departure.

Their willingness to splash the cash on one player in a way that's foreign to Pompey supporters in recent years - and somewhat alien to many clubs operating at this level - demonstrates a desire negate any preconceptions from rivals that the Blues' promotion hopes will be severely dented by Clarke's departure.

It also reinforces opinion that Pompey are serious in their determination to build a future in the Championship and beyond - something that will, of course, give confidence to current squad members here for the long term and those players who may be tempted to make the south coast their new home.

The fact that the Blues are also making transfer enquiries for the likes of Matt Godden - a six-figure signing for Peterborough last term, who will command a similar fee if let go by the Posh - Ipswich's Ellis Harrison and Plymouth's Freddie Ladapo is again proof that the Blues are not just going to do things on the cheap.

Although, some of the free agents linked, including Paul Downing and Chuks Aneke, show that there is value in going down that route, too.

Understandably, many will assert that stumping up the money is a natural consequence of the supposed cash the Blues will bank from potential sales of Clarke (£5m) and Lowe (£3m).

'It's only right that they spend that money', they already say.

I agree, and that's why I'm off the opinion that Pompey should cash in on both of them this summer.

Not ideal given the loss of Thompson, too - that's three first-choice players from last season's team the Blues would lose.

However, the calibre of player Pompey could bring in, the strength and depth they could add to their numbers, the ability to forsake the need of loan additions - and we all now how ineffective they can be - plus the added excitement it would bring to the fans are surely positives to take out of the situation.

Going back to Edmundson, yes, the fee agreed for the Glasgow Rangers target is a statement of intent in it's own right.

However, Pompey have the potential to go even further if they spend any additional funds wisely and prove their ambition.

Not only will League One rivals sit up and take notice - but clubs and fans up and down the country.