Why Portsmouth skipper Tom Naylor believes ex-Burton team-mate Marcus Harness can become one of League One's best

Marcus Harness has been backed to become ‘one of the best players’ in League One.

Saturday, 12th October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Saturday, 12th October 2019, 7:00 am

Tom Naylor is confident the winger will continue his hurtling progress following an impressive start to his Pompey career.

Harness moved to Fratton Park from Burton for a fee of around £1m in July andhas filled the void of last season’s 17-goal top scorer Jamal Lowe superbly.

He’s netted three times and created one in nine appearances – and his attacking threat was missed while he was sidelined for almost a month with a thigh strain.

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After impressing for the Brewers last season, Naylor feels the Blues were lucky to have signed Harness, with other potential suitors circling over the summer.

And Pompey’s skipper believes his former Pirelli Stadium team-mate is a force to be reckoned with in the third tier.

Naylor said: ‘Marcus is someone who had improved every game. It's hard when you come to a club like this.

‘In the last six months of last season, he was playing well and there were a lot of teams after him.

Pompey manager Marcus Harness
Pompey manager Marcus Harness

‘Luckily, we were the ones who got his signature and he is only going to keep on improving.

‘If you think he is good now then once he gets his feet under the table a bit more, he’s going to be one of the best players in the league.

‘We knew what Jamal was like. He could score goals, was good with his feet and could bypass people to get crosses in.

‘Marcus is similar. He can score, he's got the assists and he works hard for the team as well.

Marcus Harness in action against Tom Naylor during Pompey's clash against Burton last season. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

‘He’ll get back to help the team out and that’s massive for him and us.

‘If we know he is tracking his runner then we know we can deal with that side of the pitch.’

Naylor recognised Harness’ talent when he was coming through the ranks at Burton.

Now he’s fulfilling that potential at Fratton Park and can keep on improving.

Naylor added: ‘When I was at Burton, he didn’t play that much for the first team because he went out on loan a few times.

‘We always knew he had potential. He was a quiet lad, a shy lad because he was young.

‘But we knew he was going to be a good player if he kept his head right, which he has done.

‘He was very good for Burton last season. In the last six months, he ripped it up for them single-handed, scored some very good goals and we were so lucky to get his signature.

‘He’s going to do well and just needs to keep his head down again.’