Summer target 'phenomenal' in Wales' Euros 2020 campaign - but why it may be to Portsmouth's disadvantage

Danny Cowley will be cramming in as many matches as possible as Euros 2020 fever continues to grip the nation – just like us all.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 4:56 am

Between recruitment meetings, talks with potential targets and planning for pre-season training, Pompey’s footballaholic head coach will be indulging in the feast of action gracing our screens.

Cowley’s already spoken how he’s vehemently behind England and Gareth Southgate as they bid for glory.

But bar the Three Lions, he’ll be keeping a close eye on Wales – and Joe Morrell in particular.

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With no engine-room operators under contract after the exits of Tom Naylor, Andy Cannon, Ben Close and Bryn Morris, it's a department that needs plenty of attention.

Morrell's someone that's been identified – and Cowley’s keen for a south-coast reunion having worked together briefly at Lincoln.

The ex-Cheltenham loanee featured in every minute of the opening six League One games in 2018-19 when the Imps sat second in the table before Cowley left for Huddersfield.

Joe Morrell warms up for Wales. Picture: Alberto Lingria - Pool/Getty Images
Joe Morrell warms up for Wales. Picture: Alberto Lingria - Pool/Getty Images

However, Cowley’s continued to track Morrell’s career.

That’s put Cowley on alert, who can offer the Ipswich-born what he desires – consistent minutes.

However, the obstacle standing in the way of Morrell potentially coming to PO4 if he is to depart Kenilworth Road is that he’d ideally want to stay in the Championship.

And judging by his efforts at the Euros so far, he’s looking more and more likely to remain in the second tier – either with Luton or elsewhere.

In Wales' Group A campaign, Morrell started all three matches as his country secured their spot in the last 16 with a second-place finish behind Italy.

In the Dragons' 2-0 defeat of Turkey last Sunday, his performance earned rave reviews.

Speaking after the game, caretaker manager Rob Page said: ‘He can’t even get into a Championship team, yet he is playing like that at international level. It's phenomenal what he's doing.’

When Wales face Denmark in Amsterdam for a place in the quarter-finals this Saturday, Morrell's again likely to take up his spot in the engine room.

In the Dragons side, he’s a key cog like Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Daniel James.

Inevitably, Morrell’s performances on the international stage won't be going unnoticed by other potential suitors who are on the lookout for midfielders during the transfer window.

His efforts may even convince Luton boss Nathan Jones to give Morrell a fresh start.

No doubt Cowley will be beaming with pride for Morrell, having played a part to get his career where it is today.

Yet the Pompey supremo will also be aware that Morrell’s eye-catching displays are likely to make a potential move to the Blues even more of a challenge.