Unattached professionals, such as Jermain Defoe, have been linked with clubs in the EFL in recent weeks.
But the Blues head coach revealed he’s searching for players who can hit the ground running, upon their arrival on the south coast..
The Fratton faithful have already seen the reality of this, with the club’s first two winter acquisitions thrown straight into action.
After Hayden Carter officially signed for the club, he was on the bench in the 2-1 defeat to MK Dons – before playing the entirety of the draw with AFC Wimbledon three days later.
Indeed, it was similar for Tyler Walker, who also played the full 90 minutes against the Dons – without training with his new colleagues.
And Cowley is now targeting players who can do the same this month, as his attention turns to a new left-wing-back before September 1.
He told The News: ‘There’s not many free agents in January that are fit and ready to hit the ground running. We’ve got games (coming up), a really busy February and we already have six games, potentially seven that month.
‘So we need players that are fit, healthy and are ready to come in and influence the team.’
The truth surrounding free agents in January is there’s a number of reasons why they’re without a contract.
Either they’ve not impressed during trials and contract talks, or financial resources could be better spent.
Which is why Cowley will explore different avenues when looking to bolster his squad further this month.
He continued: ‘If it’s a free agent that hasn’t played in the first half of the season - which it invariably would because there are very few players that have six month contracts, our aim is to sign players that are fit and ready.’
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