REVEALED: The European markets Portsmouth are looking at for January transfer recruits

Danny Cowley has detailed the markets which could reap dividends for Pompey’s recruitment next month.

By Jordan Cross
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 4:55 am

The Blues boss believes there’s a number of countries on the continent which could offer value in the January transfer window.

The News last week revealed Cowley is eyeing the Belgian league as a possible avenue to go down for additions.

And the National League is another bed of talent the head coach believes could produce a rough diamond or two for the head coach to polish.

Now Cowley has explained how he’s keeping tabs on Ireland and even Scandinavia for new additions.

The 43-year-old added he has hesitation recruiting from Scotland, as he outlined the issues with landing players from north of the border.

He said: ‘We are looking in different areas.

‘But there are different factors looking on the continent. One, the style of football is very different.

Anderlecht in action against Royal Union Saint-Gilloise - Danny Cowley has pinpointed Belgium which could provide transfer opportunities for Pompey. (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

‘In Holland it’s much more possession based with fewer transitions.

‘Belgium we like because it’s not dissimilar to here. A couple of teams are maybe top Championship, then it’s bottom Championship and League One.

‘With Irish football, Republic of Ireland is stronger than Northern Ireland.

‘But you see a lot of players with the physical and athletic attributes who could cope there, and they certainly have the desire and hunger.

‘We’ve been over to Sweden and watched some football there.

‘Again it’s another division with players who have the physical and athletic attributes to cope in this country.

‘The Danes and Swedes tend to be tactically pretty bright, and can take and follow instruction.

‘I don’t know if it’s something in their culture, but they tend to be very coachable.

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‘Scotland always scares me, because there’s Celtic and Rangers.

‘Then there’s the next group and it’s hard to pitch the games. Sometimes the football looks like National League then other games look like Championship games, so it’s quite a hard league to recruit from.

‘Then we’re looking at non-league as well, because we’re looking for young players and later developers.

‘There’s always the ones top clubs have missed.

‘Any player who’s playing at the top end of non-league football at 18 or 19, can always go on and have a good Football League career.’

Cowley knows there are a lot of associated risks with buying players unfamiliar with what’s required in League One.

There’s also the consideration of signings adapting to a new country with their family, but the Pompey boss feels that is where the club need to step up.

He added: ‘If you take players from further afield you have to be ready as a club to support them as well.

‘When they move over there has to be a pastoral care to help them settle in with their families, find the right house and schools. We have to help them with that transition.’

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