The potential Portsmouth departure that will split fans regardless of the outcome

It’s a departure that could potentially be on the cards.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 11:14 am
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 12:12 pm

Despite Kenny Jackett stating Brett Pitman wants to remain at Fratton Park, there’s still the chance of him leaving during the transfer window.

The ex-Bournemouth man has become a peripheral figure this season, slipping down the pecking order in both the number nine and number-10 roles.

And with Cameron McGeehan and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild already arriving, coupled with his omission at Walsall, it means he could find himself even further away from the first-team fray.

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Mind you, it’s not like Pitman is short of suitors. League Two leaders Swindon regard him as a replacement for Eoin Doyle following his recall to Bradford, while Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe admitted he would love to sign him.

Nevertheless, the 31-year-old still remains a favourite among sections of the Fratton faithful and they remain steadfast he should be retained.

After all, he was voted in The News’ Team of the Decade a matter of weeks ago and has plundered 41 goals in 99 appearances since his arrival from Ipswich in the summer of 2017.

Should Pitman move to pastures new, then Pompey would lose a deadly League One marksman.

Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler

While he’s entering the latter stages of his career and may not be as mobile as previously, his key attribute he hasn’t lost – and won’t any time soon – is his prowess to find the back of the net.

As finishers go, Pitman's the most natural and composed at Fratton Park.

All four of his goals this campaign have been crucial, ensuring the Blues are four points better off in the league, as well as advancing in the FA Cup and EFL Trophy.

To have him as an option off the bench is currently envied by managers throughout the division.

Whenever Pitman is on the pitch, he's a potent threat in the final third – whether that's shooting from outside the area, snaffling home from inside the box or from the penalty spot.

In a League One promotion race that’s showing signs it’ll go down to the wire, the luxury of having him available to call upon when required is invaluable.

Then there's the flip side to the argument, which fundamentally takes into account the financial aspect of things.

In terms of wages, Pitman ranks within the upper echelons of Jackett’s squad.

Even despite the likes of John Marquis and Ellis Harrison arriving in the summer, the Jersey-born ace was prised away from the Championship after the Blues' return to the third tier in 2017 and that wouldn’t have come cheap.

To have someone on such a lofty income being a bit-part player can be regarded as counterintuitive, a waste of money that could be better utilised elsewhere such as recruiting a left-footed centre-back Pompey covet.

With Jackett aiming to balance his playing budget, he'll need more than Anton Walkes heading through the exit, after the arrivals of McGeehan, Hackett-Fairchild and Steve Steddon so far in the window.

Pitman seems an obvious candidate, with the Blues unlikely to offer him fresh terms when his three-year contract expires in June – especially if a return to the Championship is achieved.

There are arguments for both sides, all valid points that Jackett will be weighing up before making a decision.

And the same deliberations will be made whether Pitman departs or stays at Fratton Park.