The 67 reasons why Coventry loanee can come good after underwhelming Portsmouth start

Pompey’s ‘ghost’ has been more like a poltergeist, yet history suggests Tyler Walker’s true form has still to be glimpsed.

Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 4:55 am

The Coventry striker has endured an underwhelming start to life at Fratton Park following a loan arrangement greeted with much fanfare.

With five starts and 408 minutes since last month’s arrival, he has still to score, while cut an anonymous figure, even amid Pompey victory.

Unquestionably the 25-year-old’s goal background is impressive, perhaps demonstrating the folly of writing him off after just 28 days on the south coast.

Walker possesses a scoring pedigree which has seen him find the net in the Championship, League One, League Two and as an England under-20 international.

In total, he has bagged 67 goals in 215 career games, spread over spells spent with nine different Football League clubs.

Indeed, only in a five-game loan at Bolton – and Pompey so far – has Walker failed to register during his time at a club.

Tyler Walker is yet to find the back of the net in five Pompey appearances. Picture: Robin Jones

He was even named in the PFA League Two Team Of The Year for 2018-19 in recognition of 26 goals for Mansfield.

That remarkable haul consisted of one hat-trick and four doubles as the Stags lost out in the play-off semi-finals to Newport County.

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Yet Walker is far from a lower-division operative, having started his career at Nottingham Forest, the club where father Des made his name under Brian Clough.

He netted in only his fourth appearance after emerging through the Forest ranks, totalling five Championship goals and seven overall before bought by Coventry in August 2020.

While at the City Ground, he spent six spells out on loan, ranging between League One and League Two.

There was one goal in six games at Burton (League One), four in nine at Stevenage (League Two) and two in six at Port Vale (League One).

He spent a month at Championship side Bolton in 2017-18, before that prolific season at Mansfield in League Two the following campaign.

It was Cowley who recruited Walker for Lincoln in August 2019 on a season-long loan which was ended when Forest paid compensation to secure his return midway through.

By that stage, he had scored 16 goals in 34 matches for a club which would go on to claim the League Two title and promotion.

Newly-promoted Coventry offered him a return to the Championship in the summer of 2020, where Walker finished as eight-goal top scorer as they finished 16th, including two against Premier League-bound Brentford.

The striker also netted twice in the league this season ahead of his Pompey switch, albeit handed just four starts as he struggled to break into Mark Robins’ side.

Still, from spells at Forest and Coventry, Walker possesses a haul of 14 goals at Championship level, of which one was a penalty.

Now Pompey fans are waiting for him to get off the mark – and there are 67 reasons why he is capable of succeeding.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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