The Insider: Portsmouth are getting a solid, consistent defender in Shrewsbury's James Bolton

James Bolton, left, has signed for Pompey. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
James Bolton, left, has signed for Pompey. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
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Lewis Cox, Shrewsbury reporter at the Shropshire Star, gives the lowdown on Pompey signing James Bolton….

I can’t praise James Bolton enough. He is a very solid, consistent defender.

First and foremost, he is a defender and not an attacking right-back.

He will get forward but I think he would agree that being on the ball is not his natural game and it’s something he has been working on.

Bolton will get forward, though, because he’s big, strong and a good athlete.

Defensively, he is very solid. Although Shrewsbury manager Sam Ricketts played him at wing-back last season, Bolton is more of a conventional right-back.

READ MORE: Bolton's impending Portsmouth arrival signals end of key man's Fratton career

A lot of people actually think he’s a future at centre-half – particularly on the right-hand side of a back three in a wing-back system. 

He’s Mr Reliable and you’d struggled to rate him below a six every week.

I don’t want to do him a disservice because it’s not glamorous but he is solid and won’t let you down.

He’s good in the air and a danger at set-pieces – he got the winner at Fratton Park the season before last.

That season Shrewsbury reached the play-off final and he was very important. He played most games and former boss Paul Hurst really helped him improve.

SEE ALSO: James Bolton's performances compared to Portsmouth duo Nathan Thompson and Anton Walkes last season

Bolton almost embodied Hurst’s side being a hard-working, unglamorous player who was signed from the lower levels.

He arrived from National League side Gateshead in 2017 and we barely knew anything about him.

But Hurst knew the non-league scene and Bolton made the step up seamlessly.

He has matured and progressed in the past two years having played 85 games in the two seasons, while he’s a good age at 24. 

The fans wanted to keep him but it is a good move for him. 

It’s a big shame Shrewsbury couldn’t get a fee but that's how it goes when a player impresses.

The supporters are gutted to lose him because Bolton’s the one they wanted to keep of the players who were out of contract. 

He’s a solid defender, very popular and a good lad. He will do well for Pompey and the fans should like him.