Swansea loanee George Byers reveals why he snubbed Championship interest for Portsmouth

George Byers revealed he turned down Championship interest to join Pompey.

Monday, 25th January 2021, 4:01 pm
Updated Monday, 25th January 2021, 4:15 pm
George Byers has signed for Pompey on loan from Swansea. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images
George Byers has signed for Pompey on loan from Swansea. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

The Blues made contact with the former Watford man in December to register their interest.

They weren’t the only side keen, though. Byers confessed he had other potential suitors in the second tier he could have joined.

However, the 24-year-old had no qualms about dropping down to League One.

The potential of being part of a promotion-winning side proved the most appealing to him.

Byers told The News: ‘I did have some options but with Pompey being in the position they are – and have a great chance of getting promoted – it made sense.

‘It's a massive club, which I knew before the move came about. It made sense for me to try to get the club back where it should be.

‘It was the most appealing option. Staying in the Championship is a great thing but did I want to be fighting in a relegation battle? Not particularly.

‘Pompey are in a great position, high up in the table and have a great chance of going up. I really wanted to try to be a part of that.

‘The manager spoke to me for about 30 minutes on the phone before I signed. He told me about his plans, the people around the club and the players – who are a great bunch of lads.

‘He talked about the ambitions of the club and wanting to get to the Championship. He was pretty convincing but it didn't take much convincing, either.

‘I knew it was the right place for me to come for the rest of the season and get some games.’

Byers was in the Fratton Park stands to watch Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Hull City.

The former Scotland youth international is adamant Pompey can bounce back against Lincoln tomorrow night – and is hoping to make his debut.

He added: ‘It was a tough watch but these things happen.

‘You can have one or two maximum a season if you want to be pushing for the top.

‘That was one of them but we’ll be looking to bounce back.

‘I like to get forward and play passes in midfield, but I can also do the dirty side of things and make tackles. I don’t mind putting a foot in.

‘I can bring a bit of everything, which can only help the team.’

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