The Bristol Rovers Roberto Firmino! Why Portsmouth target Aaron Collins has drawn comparisons to the Liverpool forward and how likely a transfer to Fratton Park is

After The News revealed Pompey’s interest in Bristol Rovers talisman Aaron Collins yesterday, we caught up with Bristol World reporter Jordan Jones to get the lowdown on the 24-year-old.

By Sam Cox
Saturday, 14th May 2022, 4:55 am

Here’s what he had to say about the player.

He’s not your traditional number nine.

Joey Barton has compared him a few times to Roberto Firmino, not quality-wise but just his positioning and style of play. I’d be in agreement.

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He does tend to perhaps cut out wide rather than stay centrally, which can sometimes impact him as he may be better suited to getting in to shooting positions.

Collins has a few goals in his locker from outside of the box and has scored a few stunners.

If he were to position himself more in the six-yard box then he would get more goals.

He had a slow start when he joined, enduring a difficult spell in front of goal, and even failing to find the net in EFL Trophy games.

Pompey target Aaron Collins has drawn comparisons to Liverpool's Roberto Firmino.

In fairness to him, different systems were being tested and the plan was for Leon Clarke to be the focal point, but plans changed.

A goal against Oxford United gave him the confidence he needed and after that, he found some form.

In the new year, coinciding with the good form, he was finding himself on target a few times, with a goal here and there and sometimes a brace.

In the last stretch of the season, he went on an eight-game scoreless run but then responded with a hat-trick against Rochdale in an inspiring victory.

Of course, he then gets a brace on the final day.

It'll be interesting whether to see if he continues on his own in the 4-1-4-1 or if there will be room to accommodate Ryan Loft or a different striker in the summer.

Given it will be his first crack in the third tier, it remains to be seen if he’s at the level next term.

He's just come off his best scoring season and that will give him a tremendous amount of confidence. Sometimes players perform better at a higher level as they thrive off the competition.

That may happen here with Collins as there is no reason why he can't go on another scoring run.

The early feeling here is that there isn't much to worry about him leaving.

He's a promotion hero, climbed a traffic light to celebrate with the fans, and has a strong affinity with the club.

He was released first time by the club as a youngster before he started at Newport and then brought back, of course, last summer.

Would he risk a new challenge at Portsmouth so soon after being part of some heroics? I'm not so sure.

Contracted to the club until 2023, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a new deal in the offing for him.

James Belshaw was rewarded with one despite having some contract security.

Collins would be deserving of one but, first, they must tie Antony Evans to a new deal.

At 24-years-old, he's at the end of that 'promising youngster' tag, but is still young enough to be regarded as a young talent.

After two good seasons which have been his career best, there isn't a reason why he can't continue that, even being at a higher level.

He probably needs to be a bit more consistent and not go as many games without a goal, but his 18-goal return is still a respectable one and any striker who reaches double figures is worth their value.