What Portsmouth fans can expect in January now the summer transfer window has closed

Kenny Jackett eschewed any business on transfer deadline day.

Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 12:17 pm
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Robin Jones.

The Pompey boss decided he was happy with the eight new faces he’d already recruited this summer.

Although he mulled over an extra midfielder, Jackett felt he already had the squad with the quality to challenge for League One automatic promotion this season.

The closure of the window now means the Blues can't recruit fresh faces from other clubs until January 1, 2020.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Robin Jones.

Nevertheless, it won’t be long until the rumour mill starts churning out names Jackett’s supposedly keeping tabs on or Blues players reportedly coveted by others.

But assessing the past two Januarys, along with what’s been said this summer, the winter window – at present – appears it’ll be fairly quiet at PO4.

In 2018 and earlier this year, the Blues’ business midway through the campaign was underwhelming.

In Jackett's first season in charge, four new faces arrived; Wolves duo Connor Ronan and Sylvain Deslandes, Anton Walkes from Spurs and Stephen Henderson joined on deadline day from Nottingham Forest.

Of the quartet, it was only Walkes who sufficiently impressed and earned himself a permanent switch the following summer.

Despite fans craving an experienced centre-midfielder to cover the injury absences of Danny Rose and Stuart O’Keefe, one failed to join.

Earlier this year, Pompey’s winter recruitment, on paper, looked much improved.

Although the Blues were impacted by the early recalls of three loanees – key man Ben Thompson (Millwall), Andre Green (Aston Villa) and David Wheeler (QPR) – six players did arrive.

However, the latest faces were unable to make a sufficient impact on the promotion push, despite coming in to give the Blues added impetus.

Omar Bogle (Cardiff) and James Vaughan (Wigan) bolstered Pompey’s striker options.

Bogle started at breakneck speed with four goals in his opening eight games, but didn’t net in his final six outings and struggled with various injuries.

Vaughan, meanwhile, was scarcely given a chance and didn’t break his duck.

Permanent signings Andy Cannon and Bryn Morris were blighted by setbacks, although the former has started this campaign superbly.

And wingers Viv Solomon-Otabor and Lloyd Isgrove – who didn’t make a solitary appearance – failed to take up the mantle as Ronan Curtis and Jamal Lowe wilted after a barnstorming first half of the campaign.

If there is anything Jackett and Mark Catlin have learnt, January recruitment can disrupt the balance of the side.

Speaking to BBC Radio Solent fans’ forum before the start of the season, chief executive Catlin said: ‘They (January windows) haven’t been disasters but they haven't been great.

‘You can’t say generally we went into the window, came out the other side and went on a great run.

‘But does that really happen? Maybe have we pushed it too far to try to strengthen when we may have been better running with what we had, seeing it through rather than bringing in players that?

'On paper, it (last January ) looked fantastic but maybe it changed the dynamic of the team.’

Heeding what's happened, this summer’s blueprint was to assemble a squad that can compete for the full duration of the campaign.

So unless there are injuries which cause Pompey to be proactive, it seems there won’t be an influx of recruits that'll arrive in four months’ time.