The ex-Charlton midfielder and former Coventry keeper who could be the next Portsmouth triallists to win deals

There have been around 30 non-members of Danny Cowley's squad who've all attempted to win deals this summer

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 12:30 pm

The vast majority have been unsuccessful.

Pompey's revolving triallist door has been one of the prominent talking points when it comes to this summer's transfer window.

From the opening day of pre-season, Cowley's been having a look at free agents and youngsters at other clubs who could potentially come in and bolster his squad ahead of the latest League One promotion push.

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To date, three players have managed to duly impress and persuade Cowley they should be part of his 2021-22 season plans.

Kieron Freeman's the most high-profile name to have won a contract.

The right-back was named in the Team of the Season when Sheffield United won the League One title in 2017-18, while he played 20 times during their promotion to the Premier League two years later.

His attacking qualities mean he's already been catapulted into first choice, pushing Callum Johnson down the pecking order.

Pompey triallist keeper Corey Addai. Picture: Rogan Thomson/ JMP Sport.

Given his prolificness in front of goal, netting seven times in three games, there'd have been fan uproar if Gassan Ahadme wasn't snapped up on a season-loan from Norwich.

His hat-trick against the Hawks was scintillating but there were still question marks if he could do it against Football League opposition.

Any doubts were emphatically shot down when he bagged a double against League One rivals Burton at St George's Park before he fired another brace against Championship outfit Bristol City on Tuesday.

He’s got the Fratton faithful purring.

Jay Mingi celebrates scoring for Charlton in the Papa John's Trophy last season. Picture: Adam Davy/ PA Wire

And in that 3-3 draw with the Robins on Tuesday, it was Jayden Reid who was the architect of the Blues' equaliser.

The former Birmingham winger's pace and directness roused Cowley enough to give him a one-year deal with an option.

But with still only 19 players under contract two weeks before the curtain-raiser against Fleetwood, it means triallists will likely remain around for a little longer.

And while the likes of Jake Hesketh, Madger Gomes, Abdul Abdulmalik and Akin Odimayo have all departed, Cowley continues to cast his eye over a pair who've been around for some time.

In the second half of the 5-2 win at the Hawks, most fans would agree there were three stand-out triallists – Ahadme, Reid and Jay Mingi.

Featuring as the deep-lying centre-midfield role, Mingi delivered an energetic, high-octane display.

Certainly, he outperformed Gomes, who made 55 appearances for Doncaster in the past two seasons.

Mingi was offered a new deal by Charlton at the end of last term, having joined the previous summer following his release from West Ham.

However, it seems that he may be looking for more first-team chances elsewhere, having only played twice for the Addicks in the Papa John's Trophy in 2020-21.

The 20-year-old would fit the ilk of player Cowley's looking to sign after an academy player overhaul. The head coach wants another youngster to add to Reid, Haji Mnoga and Liam Vincent who can help supplement the squad.

It's understood Mingi has impressed some of the under-contract players, with one senior member of the squad, in particular, singling him out for praise.

Given his lack of experience, a loan could make sense for Mingi should he be signed.

Also part of that second-half side against the Hawks was Corey Addai, who replaced Alex Bass in goal.

Released by Barnsley at the end of last season, the giant 6ft 7in keeper had little to do as Pompey ran riot against Paul Doswell's tiring team.

However, when called into action, he was adept at what was needed.

Against Bristol City, Addai was helpless for the goals of Kasey Palmer and Chris Martin's penalty.

Yet he did make one fine save to deny Palmer, diving at full stretch to tip the former England under-21 international's effort around the post.

We know that Cowley would like to bring in an additional keeper – and Addai fits the bill in terms of what's required.

He's a towering figure, shown he's got sound fundamentals and has looked decent enough with the ball at his feet.

What's more, Addai has yet to make his Football League debut, which would be an advantage to Pompey in the potential scenario Bass and Gavin Bazunu were both absent at the same time.

EFL rules state that clubs can sign a keeper on an emergency loan if all the only one available as fewer than five Football League games under their belt.

Former Grimsby left-back Sam Habergham remains having worked under Cowley at Lincoln, while ex-Shrewsbury midfielder Sean Goss was given a run-out at Bristol City.

Yet in terms of who might be adequate for what the Pompey chief covets, Addai and Mingi would be the front-runners.