The £150,000 saving Portsmouth have made following 2020 summer transfer decision

His name was pencilled in on Pompey's summer shopping list this time a year ago.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 12:00 pm

But given the fee Bristol Rovers have been forced to pay for Brandon Hanlan, the Blues will now feel even more vindicated they didn't pursue a move.

With Brett Pitman and Oli Hawkins both released after Pompey's penalty shootout defeat to Oxford in the play-off semi-finals, former boss Kenny Jackett was on the lookout for an additional striker.

John Marquis and Ellis Harrison – who'd arrived at the start of 2019-20 – were again set to be the Blues' main front men given the sizeable £1m and £450,000 fees paid to Doncaster and Ipswich respectively.

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Pompey coveted someone different to the pair, someone with pace who could stretch defences and capable of adding an extra dimension when leading the line.

The former Charlton man was out of contract at Gillingham, having bagged 16 times in 84 appearances in his two years at Priestfield.

Brandon Hanlan was a target for Pompey last summer before he joined Bristol Rovers. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Ultimately, it caused Pompey to cool their interest and Hanlan would instead move to League One rivals Bristol Rovers.

Given how Hanlan fared in the 2020-21 season, the Blues will feel it was money well and truly saved.

The ex-Bromley man managed nine goals in 48 appearances but couldn't prevent the Gas from being relegated to League Two.

Now Rovers have learned the fee they have to stump up for Hanlan as they prepare for life in the fourth tier.

Rather than coming to a settlement with Gillingham, the Gas decided to take things to a tribunal.

The hearing took place last month, with an independent adjudicator ruling that Joey Barton's must pay Gillingham £150,000, according to the Bristol Post.

A decent fee, indeed, for a player who managed only two goals after the turn of the year and is now plying his trade in League Two.

It's not just Rovers who might feel hard done by, though, with reports suggesting the Gills were expecting a windfall north for £750,000.

Certainly, the Blues were wise to take their striker hunt elsewhere.

Hanlan would have turned out to be an expensive third-choice forward and probably would still have another 12 months on his Fratton Park deal.

After turning their attention from Hanlan, Jordy Hiwula was the additional marksman brought in.

The ex-Coventry man spent the majority of the 2020-21 season as a peripheral figure and was limited to only three goals in 15 outings before his release in May.

The major difference, though, is that Hiwula didn't cost Pompey a penny, having arrived on a freebie after the window closed.

Amid a challenging past 17 months due to the coronavirus pandemic, every pound must be maximised by clubs across the country in this summer's transfer market.

With Pompey's decision on Hanlan, they saved themselves a fair few quid that could be invested elsewhere.