The rare Portsmouth transfer route Kenny Jackett has taken which could pay dividends

It’s a route manager Kenny Jackett has seldom taken during his time in the Fratton Park driving seat.

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 6:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th April 2020, 4:40 pm
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Simon Davies

Since succeeding Paul Cook as Pompey boss in June 2017, Jackett’s gone through six transfer windows and made 40 signings in total.

Yet only two new arrivals have rocked up at Fratton Park from League Two – and only one of those for a fee.

When Jackett took control, he continued to pursue a deal for Nathan Thompson which Cook had already set in motion. The right-back moved on a free transfer after departing Swindon.

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And shortly before the same summer transfer window closed, Dion Donohue became the latest fresh face from the fourth tier.

The Welshman joined from Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee and scored one goal in 47 appearances before his release last year.

Donohue remains the last Pompey signing from the division to command a fee.

Jackett has since stopped off in the National League three times, stumping up cash for Oli Hawkins and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild – from Dagenham & Redbridge and Bromley respectively – as well as recruiting Louis Dennis on a free from Bromley.

Dion Donohue was the last player Pompey signed for a fee from a League Two side. Picture: Colin Farmery

In turn, he’s bypassed League Two market on each occasion.

But should the Pompey manager take another rare trip to the fourth tier, we’ve picked out the players who could make that detour worthwhile.

Charlie Goode - Northampton

With Christian Burgess yet to sign a new contract, Sean Raggett’s loan expiring and Paul Downing firmly out of favour, the Blues may need to bolster their centre-back options at the end of the season.

Perry Ng has impressed for Crewe Alexandra. Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images

Goode only moved to the Cobblers on a permanent deal last summer after a successful loan spell from Scunthorpe but was immediately appointed skipper.

The 24-year-old has helped put Keith Curle’s men in the play-off race, having scored four times in 42 appearances.

Jackett firstly looks for powerful defenders who are rarely going to be beaten in the air.

Standing at 6ft 5in, there’s little wonder why Goode has won 348 aerial duels this season.

He has two years remaining on his Northampton deal but a switch to Pompey could prove tempting.

Bez Lubala - Crawley

Pace and power are attributes Jackett so often desires when recruiting forward-thinking players.

Lubala wouldn’t exactly be cheap with two years left on his Crawley deal, especially as we head into a precarious financial situation.

But Pompey could well feel he’s worth the fee.

Lubala has been the Reds’ star man this campaign after he turned down a new deal at Birmingham last summer and dropped down the leagues.

He had 13 goals and three assists to his name for 12th-placed Crawley when the season was brought to a halt last month, and aged 22 he’s certain to climb back up the ladder.

Lubala’s yet to hit his peak and would potentially have a sell-on value if he was to continue his hurtling progress.

Perry Ng - Crewe

Having been appointed Alexandra skipper at the tender age of 23, it’s fair to say the right-back has thrived in the role.

Ng has been at the heart of Crewe’s promotion push, displaying his quality both going forward and defending.

He has two goals and six assists to his name, won 292 duels, made 200 interceptions and played 591 progressive passes, with 2,164 in total.

Ng has been linked with Derby and Nottingham Forest in the past and has one year remaining on his deal Gresty Road contract.

Having recently turned 24 and with more than 150 Football League appearances under his belt, he could prove the ideal replacement should Pompey not be able to sign Ross McCrorie on a permanent deal from Rangers.

Ryan Broom - Cheltenham

A name that Pompey were linked with earlier this season but a move came to no avail.

Nevertheless, Broom has enjoyed a fine campaign and been the Robins’ talisman.

The former Bristol Rovers forward has impressively registered eight goals and seven assists during Cheltenham’s play-off push.

He’s capable of operating as both a right wing-back and in the number-10 position – and versatility is often something Jackett looks for during his recruitment.

Broom has a year remaining on his Whaddon Road deal.

Ryan Wintle – Crewe

If Pompey aim to bolster their engine-room options at the season’s end then Wintle could be one target to mull over.

The 22-year-old has made 46 appearances for Dave Artell’s leaders, scoring four goals and creating four in the process.

They’ve all come from a holding-midfield role.

Meanwhile, he’s won 241 duels and produced 194 interceptions, showing he has quality going both directions.

Wintle undoubtedly looks destined to play higher up the pyramid and would still have a sell-on value.