The reality of Portsmouth's 'transfer blow' as target eyed by Huddersfield Town and Barnsley prepares for Stockport County move

It's being seen as a transfer setback in a department which desperately needs attention.

By Jordan Cross
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 6:00 pm

News of long-term striking target Kyle Wootton reportedly being set to move to League Two new boys Stockport County emerged this week, after their interest was first reported by The News last month.

The Notts County forward, of course, has been long admired by Pompey boss Danny Cowley who has been tracking the 25-year-old's progress since last year.

The likes of Yorkshire pair Huddersfield and Barnsley have also been mentioned when it comes to the free agent who finished the season with 21 goals, as his club failed to return to league football through the play-offs.

The word is the Hatters are prepared to pay in the region of £5,000 per week to secure Wootton’s services. That kind of wage would be viewed as very decent by League One standards, and will undoubtedly put the former Scunthorpe man right of the top of the earning tree in the fourth tier.

As and when that scenario crystallises, you could view such a development as Pompey being financially outmuscled by a non-league club. Make no mistake, there will be those who take issue with a perceived lack of squad investment from the Eisners who will do just that.

Kyle Wootton. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Perhaps closer to the truth, however, is Cowley’s perfectly capable of matching that financial commitment if he so chooses. After all, Pompey found £7,000 per week to cover Tyler Walker’s wages in January, after previous top earner John Marquis departed.

Would the Blues be getting the kind of value they desire from such an outlay, however?

Yes, Pompey do want young players on the rise from lower levels who can be developed into bankable assets.

But Cowley’s squad will still require operators with pedigree - or younger talent with arguably greater potential than Wootton. Both come at a premium.

Twelve months ago, Cowley was floored as Jayden Stockley jilted Pompey and took Charlton’s hand in marriage along with the extra readies on offer.

There was no doubt back then the former Fratton loanee was at the head of the Londoner's striking wishlist.

Without a striker contracted this summer, it was also clear Wootton was high up the list names of targets being pursued - and was told as much.

But this time around, perhaps it’s not the big striking fish who’s likely slipped the hook.

A mix of presence and pace is required with the likes of Kion Etete, Morgan Whittaker, Kyle Joseph and Brandon Thomas-Asante just a few of those mentioned. Let’s not forget George Hirst remains a wanted man, too.

Don’t discount the significance of those names who haven’t yet fallen into the public domain, too, as we get set for the transfer window to officially open on Friday.

Amid some transfer gnashing of teeth, many supporters have seen the news over Wootton as a setback of sorts - but one qualified by a view they’d hope for a bit more bang from Pompey’s buck. They’re the ones who’ve called it right.