Why Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley will review goalkeeping situation in January amid ex-Southend man's limited game time and reported interest in Manchester City starlet

Danny Cowley has admitted he’ll be forced to review his goalkeeping situation in January – with Alex Bass struggling for game time.

By Sam Cox
Friday, 10th December 2021, 12:45 pm

It comes as the promising 23-year-old has once again been asked to take on the role of deputy this term, due to Gavin Bazunu’s presence on loan from Manchester City.

In total, academy graduate Bass has made five Pompey outings in all competitions this season, two of which have come in the league.

That’s a far cry from the amount of action the keeper – who two summers ago was catching the eye of Premier League clubs – was perhaps expecting this campaign.

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As a result, Cowley will weigh up allowing Bass to continue his development with a loan move next month.

There remains a reluctance, however, from the head coach to allow the stopper to leave given his obvious quality.

The former Southend loanee has kept three clean sheets when called upon this term, with his most recent coming in the 1-0 win at Wycombe.

Not only did he keep the towering presence of the Chairboys at bay, he also saved a first-half penalty from Joe Jacobson.

Alex Bass has made only two legaue appearances this term. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

Yet Cowley believes he has a duty of care towards the 23-year-old.

‘Certainly, for our squad we would love to keep Alex in the coming weeks,’ said the manager.

‘We have two of the best young goalkeepers in this division and it’s great that they’re competing for the number-one spot.

‘Gavin has done well for a period of time now and when Alex has been called upon, he’s done equally as well.

‘Our squad will get weaker if we let Alex go out on loan, but we do have a responsibility to Alex and his development, particularly off of the back of last year and his broken leg.

‘We have to ensure we get him enough games to be able to continue his progress.

‘It is something we will look at in January for sure.’

The goalkeeping department is just one area Cowley will have to examine in January, with the need for a striker and a central-defender taking priority.

If the club allow Bass to complete a temporary move away from Fratton Park, then they would have to enter the market for another shot-stopper themselves.

But this could complicate matters next month, with Pompey not exactly flush with cash and Cowley keen to keep the number of loanees at the club at five.

This may prevent the head coach from giving the green light to any transfer regarding his number two.

But he explained how Bass' professionalism wouldn’t decrease if he is to stay on the south coast.

Cowley added: ‘Alex has been outstanding in terms of his approach to training in terms of the focus of his own development.

‘He’s a really good kid and a very, very good professional.’

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