It is with considerable confidence that Ben Thompson can be proclaimed more Jamie O’Hara than Luca Scapuzzi.
Granted, the season has reached only November, essentially it’s still entirely plausible for a player’s thrilling opening burst to slump into Matty Kennedy humdrum.
Yet the Millwall recruit is rapidly establishing himself as one of Pompey’s finest loan imports since Matt Clarke landed on trial from Ipswich seeking to impress Paul Cook during pre-season.
In fairness, Clarke excepted, the outstanding midfield performances of Thompson have comfortably catapulted him ahead of the vast majority of Fratton Park loanees in recent seasons.
Many have taken little beating considering the circumstances of their arrivals and the Blues’ varying states of desperation and transfer embargo-influenced signings.
However, Thompson appears tantalisingly different, even if he is a mere 14 appearances into a season-long stay from his Championship parent club.
During the past decade, 88 different players have served loan spells with Pompey – a period commencing from when Harry Redknapp’s side were FA Cup holders and lined up for a Community Shield encounter with Manchester United.
The likes of Rhys McCabe, Frankie Sutherland, Bjorn Helge Riise and Conor Clifford are entirely forgettable, their displays failing to register a meaningful impact either way.
Others such as Cole Kpekawa and Ryan Allsop left an indelible mark, despite each making just two appearances. The pair produced wretched displays which still spark a shudder from those onlookers present.
Incidentally, left-sided defender Kpekawa has featured eight times for St Mirren this season, while Allsop was booed by members of the Fratton end during a September visit with Wycombe.
On the flipside, goalkeeper Alex Cisak earned The News’ man-of-the-match accolade against Coventry following his first and only Blues outing, before swiftly recalled by Oldham after their number one had been sent off.
During the past 10 years, five loanees bizarrely didn’t even make a Pompey first-team appearance, of which two never graced a squad.
At least Reading’s Dominic Hyam was an unused substitute in a Checkatrade Trophy match with Bristol Rovers, while Swansea’s David Cornell served a six-game spell on the bench as goalkeeping back-up in 2014-15.
Then there’s Ben Sahar, foisted upon Harry Redknapp by Sacha Gaydamak to keep Israeli contacts happy and left on the bench for three of the opening four matches of the 2008-09 season, including the Community Shield clash with Manchester United.
Spare a thought also for Pele, real name Vítor Hugo Gomes Passos, and Wolves right-back Aaron Simpson, who failed to make a single squad.
Pele arrived from Porto in January 2009, featuring in two reserve games and scoring once. Youngster Simpson didn’t even make it as far as the second string under Paul Cook.
Incidentally, Simpson is currently on loan at Spanish third-tier club FC Jumilla, along with another ex-Fratton loanee Sylvain Deslandes. Left-back Deslandes made two appearances last season, significantly failing to impress and substituted in both.
To think striker Theofanis Gekas felt hard done-by during his six-month Pompey spell during the 2008-09 campaign – at least he was handed 60 seconds against West Brom.
An unimpressed Paul Hart stubbornly refused to utilise the temporary arrival from Bayer Leverkusen, despite Pompey going four games without a goal and a growing clamour from supporters for the Greek international’s inclusion.
There have also been three players who have twice experienced Fratton Park loans over the last decade, although the phrase never go back is particularly applicable.
The often-maligned left-back, Carl Dickinson, totalled 44 appearances from his two spells. A combative whole-hearted performer and likeable character, yet entirely unconvincing in his displays.
Scott Allan and Michael Drennan similarly endured far from triumphant returns during dark times, with never the suggestion of a permanent stay at the end of their stints.
In fact, Dickinson and Allan both featured in 2012-13, possibly the worst season in Pompey history and a campaign which saw a staggering 17 loanees employed.
A season blighted by administration, a 10-point deduction, relegation from League One, nine-successive defeats, a club-record 23 games without victory, 546 minutes without a goal and 54 players used. Startling facts.
Among the loanees were Mikkel Andersen, Paul Connolly, Jordan Obita, Paul Benson, Adam Reed, Jake Jervis and former Pompey apprentice James Keene.
As for Kevin Long and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, they are currently in the Premier League with Burnley and Cardiff respectively, both featuring this season.
There have, of course, been loan success stories, in particular O’Hara, who received nine player-of-the-season awards in recognition of his 2009-10 stay.
The Spurs midfielder has never matched those Fratton Park heights during an injury-hampered career which sees him currently serving National League South side Billericay Town.
O’Hara was among three loanees who started for Pompey in the 2010 FA Cup final against Chelsea, the others being Aruna Dindane and Frederic Piquionne. Meanwhile, Anthony Vanden Borre was unused off the bench in the 1-0 defeat.
Another member of that Wembley squad was the often-brilliantly unpredictable Nadir Belhadj, one of 10 loanees whose stays were made permanent during the past decade.
A rampaging left-back or attacking left-sided midfielder, the Algerian was a swashbuckling footballer brought on a season-long loan from Lens by Harry Redknapp in September 2008.
Others to take up residency permanently at Fratton Park have been Anton Walkes, Michael Smith, Paul Robinson, Danny Hollands, Liam Lawrence and Greg Halford.
Curiously, Jerome Thomas arrived on a season-long loan from Charlton in August 2008 – only for it to be turned into a permanent deal six days later.
Chief executive Peter Storrie reasoned the Blues needed the loan slot, so reached an undisclosed fee with the Addicks for the winger who departed at the season’s end with three appearances.
Meanwhile, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie attracts a special fondness for his match-transforming substitute appearance in the FA Cup 4-1 demolition of Southampton in February 2010.
On loan from Spartak Moscow, his stay was cut short the following month when his parent club sold him to Al-Sadd, with financially-stricken Pompey receiving a fee as compensation.
Highly successful loanees also include League Two title-winner David Forde, 2015-16 top-scorer Marc McNulty and his effective double-act partner Caolan Lavery, and goalkeeper Trevor Carson.
There remains time for Ben Thompson to maintain his rise or initiate a plummet.
Yet bank on him being an impressive loan recruit during a decade dripping with temporary terrors.