A combination of injuries and suspensions has increased the Blues’ defensive woes this season, which was reflected in their latest victory against Gillingham.
The former Lincoln boss had no senior centre-halves fit for selection and named a backline filled with makeshift options at Priestfield.
However, those who wore royal blue performed remarkably and kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 victory over Steve Evans side.
But this is unlikely to stop the Fratton club from entering the market next month, with reinforcements certainly needed.
Click through the list of players throughout the EFL and Non-League who could arrive on the south coast in 32 days time.
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1. Luke Mbete (18 y/o) - Manchester City
The Citizens academy product has been an ever-present for their under-23s and made his first-team debut for Pep Guardiola's side this term against Wycombe Wanderers. In the League Cup clash with the Chairboys, the defender registered an assist in the 6-1 rout. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images)
Photo: Christian Kaspar-Bartke
2. Teden Mengi (19 y/o) - Manchester United
The 19-year-old has grown in prominence during the 2021-22 Premier League 2 campaign and is being touted for a bright future. Mengi made his first-team debut during the Red Devils' 2-1 Europa League victory over LASK in May 2020. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Photo: Nathan Stirk
3. Billy Koumetio (19 y/o) - Liverpool
Koumetio played twice in the EFL Trophy for the reds this term but struggled against senior opposition by conceding eight goals across games against Rochdale and Bolton. In 12 PL2 appearances he has scored and assisted once respectively. (Photo by Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP) / Denmark OUT (Photo by HENNING BAGGER/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo: HENNING BAGGER
4. Omar Rekik (19 y/o) - Arsenal
Rekik has made 10 appearances in the PL2 this term and is considered one of Arsenal's brightest stars. The 19-year-old captained the Gunners under-23s to a 2-1 victory over rivals Spurs earlier this season. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
Photo: Alex Burstow