Portsmouth's January transfer window: new arrivals, who could leave and areas Kenny Jackett wants to strengthen

The January transfer window opens on Saturday, with Pompey likely to be among those keen to bolster their ranks.

Wednesday, 30th December 2020, 6:30 am
Updated Friday, 1st January 2021, 10:04 am
Jordy Hiwula, right, with Pompey team-mate Paul Downing

The Blues will be looking to build on their current second-place position with some business that will likely get them over the line and promoted come the end of the season.

But what are the rules of the window, when does it close and what are the chances of Kenny Jackett adding extra quality to his ranks?

Well, we’ve answered all of the above and move in this Pompey January transfer window explainer…

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When does the January transfer window open?

The transfer window in England for both the Premier League and EFL opens on Saturday, January 2.

Pompey are scheduled to play Accrington on the same day.

Any player signed as soon as the window opens is unlikely to be eligible in time to feature.

When does the window shut?

With January 31 falling on a Sunday, the transfer window closes on Monday, February 1.

The cut-off point for deals is 11pm that night.

Will there be another domestic transfer window?

The Premier League and EFL had an extended two-week period for domestic deals during the summer transfer window.

However, no such agreement is in place for the beginning of February.

What deals can we expect Pompey to do?

Kenny Jackett will look to bolster his engine room as he aims to lead the Blues to League One promotion, with chief executive Mark Catlin recently telling the Tony Goodall Fans’ Forum that Pompey currently have the financial means to bring in ‘one good player in January’.

Millwall’s Ben Thompson was pursued by the Blues in the last transfer window without success.

But while his game time at The Den remains limited, Jackett is focusing his search elsewhere this time around.

And there’s a belief Pompey still have the ability to bring in a heavy-hitting player in that area.

Jackett is content with the players at his disposal and the depth of his 22-man squad.

But there is concern there is not currently like-for-like cover for Andy Cannon in the 4-4-2 set-up being employed at present.

That makes the addition of another option who can bring similar drive in that area a priority when the window reopens.

Another centre-half, a left-back and forward might be on the agenda, too, given the recent uncertainty over Rasmus Nicolaisen, Cam Pring and Jordy Hiwula’s futures.

Meanwhile, the departures of fringe players Paul Downing and James Bolton would also boost the Blues’ powers in January.

Why is there uncertainty over Nicolaisen, Pring and Hiwula?Game time, really.

When Nicolaisen joined on loan from Danish outfit FC Midtjylland in September he insisted he was here to play.

However, he’s behind Jack Whatmough and Sean Raggett in the centre-back pecking order and has only played 10 games to date.

Only three of those starts have come in the league and the 23-year-old has revealed he could quit Fratton Park in January if he continues to be deprived of regular first-team football.

As for October free transfer Hiwula, the former Coventry forward’s short-term contract is set to expire on January 20.

Jackett is keen to retain the striker, who is beginning to prove his goal worth.

But speaking to The News on December 9, the Pompey manager admitted the Blues had yet to initiate talks over extending the player’s contract.

Since his arrival, Hiwula has scored three times in five appearances.

He’s yet to start in the league, however, while his game time in the third tier this season amounts to just 10 minutes.

Pring’s immediate future has been plunged into doubt due to injury worries at parent club Bristol City, plus his lack of regular minutes at Fratton Park.

Are Downing and Bolton likely to leave?

Jackett revealed earlier this month that the club had received no early enquires for any of their fringe players ahead of the January transfer window.

It is understood both are open to departing in January to gain regular minutes elsewhere.

What about the 22-man squad limit and salary cap.

As mentioned above, Pompey have the finances to fund ‘one good player’ next month regardless of the existing salary cap.

In terms of the squad limit, the Blues’ current number is at the League One threshold of 22 players.

It means they’ll have to operate a one-out, one-in policy if they want to sign a senior player when the window opens.

However, there is room for manoeuvre, particularly if Downing, Bolton, Hiwula or Nicolaisen move on.

Meanwhile, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild is also included in the current squad despite the forward being on loan at non-league Bromley.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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