'We want to keep him': Portsmouth boss adamant starlet once pursued by Derby, Sunderland and Stoke won't be going anywhere

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Terry Devlin has been assured he has a part to play for Pompey in the Championship.

And John Mousinho has no intention of letting the talented 20-year-old depart Fratton Park on loan to develop.

The Northern Ireland under-21 international’s promising season was devastated in January after damaging shoulder ligaments in the first half at Oxford United.

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Despite being earmarked as a player for the future upon his arrival from Glentoran in June 2023, Devlin had muscled into the first-team squad, making 24 appearances by that stage, including three successive League One starts.

Terry Devlin will not be leaving Fratton Park on loan this season, according to John Mousinho.Terry Devlin will not be leaving Fratton Park on loan this season, according to John Mousinho.
Terry Devlin will not be leaving Fratton Park on loan this season, according to John Mousinho. | Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

It reflected the growing impact of the versatile performer once pursued by Derby, Sunderland, Stoke and Brentford - and the Blues’ head coach is adamant Devlin will remain around his team in the Championship next season.

Mousinho told The News: ‘We won’t be sending Terry out on loan, we want to keep him in.

‘I think he has deserved it and, at the moment, I can see him affecting us in the Championship, unless things change in pre-season.

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‘We brought in Terry in the summer of 2023 because we thought he’d be a player that could affect us in the Championship at some point.

‘While we obviously wanted to go up last year, we probably accelerated things slightly quicker than we believed we would.

‘However, I still think Terry’s a player that, off the basis of what I have seen this year in training and how much improvement he has made, can also play for us after making the next step up.

‘Look at the amount of improvement we saw from the first day of pre-season when he made a big adjustment coming into a fully professional side - which he hadn't been used to - to making his first league start at Reading and staying in the side.

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‘He started three games in a row in January and, in all honesty, it was difficult to get him out of the side. Then he was injured at Oxford.

‘Terry had a massive impact last year - and I think he’ll do it again this season.’

Despite being ruled out for the remainder of the season following his Oxford injury, Devlin surprisingly returned to feature at Lincoln.

He entered in the 89th minute of the 2-0 success in the finale to the Blues’ glorious League One title season.

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Mousinho added: ‘We thought he was done, we believed the shoulder injury would see him out until the first week of May, but he came back in brilliant shape.

‘It’s about protecting Terry because he wants to go into everything at 100mph and that’s how he got himself injured. He probably went into a challenge he didn’t need to go into. I never want players pulling out of challenges, but I don’t think you can win the ball there.

‘That’s part of the learning curve for Terry because he wants to play at such a fast pace and wants to be so aggressive, which we want to keep in his game.’

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