Finally a rare January gem emerges among the awful and underwhelming to light up Portsmouth - no wonder Danny Cowley is thankful for Blackburn
Hayden Carter is bucking the January transfer window trend, providing the calibre of player barely previously witnessed by the Fratton faithful.
Indeed, traditionally it has been a wretched month for recruiting, with such luminaries as Sylvain Deslandes, Lloyd Isgrove, Charlie Daniels and Viv Solomon-Otabor.
Yet Blackburn’s Carter represents something of a trailblazer, demonstrating himself to be a class act since his January loan arrival.
A ninth appearance was capped by a stunning 25-yard strike as a jubilant Fratton Park savoured a 3-2 success over Oxford United on Tuesday night.
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Certainly the versatile defender has risen above the mediocrity and underwhelming recruitment normally associated with the mid-season transfer window.
Finally a Pompey January signing to admire.
Danny Cowley told The News: ‘Hayden got a lovely goal, centre-halves aren’t meant to score goals like that, it’s not in the rules! It was a hell of a strike.
‘He’s a good player, an organised defender, good on the ball, nice range of passing, good aerially, good one-v-one and probably deceptively quick.
‘These are players we should be trying to sign, we are Portsmouth, but we won’t be signing him if continues to score 30-yarders like that!
‘He’s a Blackburn player, I have a lot of respect for Tony Mowbray and Mark Venus, we are really grateful they have allowed us to take him on loan and we’re enjoying working with him.
‘He has a bright future, for sure.’
Initially an unused substitute against MK Dons following his arrival, Carter has gone on to establish himself as a first-team regular.
Since handed his chance in a goalless draw at AFC Wimbledon, responding with a man-of-the-match display, the 22-year-old has totalled nine successive starts.
Carter previously turned out in League One during the second half of last season, when he scored four times in 24 outings for Burton.
He returned to feature 10 times for promotion-chasing Blackburn this season, of which five were Championship starts.
Now he’s revelling in regular involvement at Fratton Park.
Cowley added: ‘Hayden’s playing regularly after earning that trust.
‘When new players come in, they have to build that trust – and Hayden has done that.’
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