Why Portsmouth's first summer signing picked Fratton Park over Premier League as Danny Cowley details future plans
Pompey fought off Premier League interest in the race for Liam Vincent’s signature.
The left-back has become the first signing of the Danny Cowley era, arriving for an undisclosed fee from Bromley.
Vincent’s penned a three-year deal at Fratton Park and is regarded as one for the future.
The 18-year-old burst through the ranks at Hayes Lane this season by making seven appearances in their National League promotion bid.
Vincent was in hot demand, with a host of top-flight and Championship clubs all keen.
But the teenager, who scored for Bromley under-18s in their FA Youth Cup win over Pompey in December, believes Fratton Park is the right place to continue his encouraging progress.
Head coach Cowley said: ‘We are delighted to sign Liam on a development contract. He first came to our attention when he played for Bromley against our under-18s in the FA Youth Cup.
‘He has subsequently made a number of first-team appearances at National League level, playing a part in helping Bromley reach the play-offs.
‘While there was lots of interest from a number of Premier League and Championship clubs, he believed Pompey to be the right club for his continued development.
‘Having played senior football already, he wanted to go into a first-team environment.
‘The recruitment team identified Liam and watched him play for both the youth and first teams at Bromley.
‘He has a lovely left foot and excellent physical attributes. Offensively, he carries real threat with ball carrying skills and crossing ability. He is also a set-piece taker.
‘He has work to do on the defensive aspect of his game and we look forward to working with him on the training ground to develop this area of his performance.
‘What was most impressive about Liam when we met him was his humility to learn and to get better.’
Vincent’s arrival means Pompey now have two fledgling full-backs under contract ahead of the 2021-22 season.
The Blues tied down 19-year-old Haji Mnoga’s future by activating a clause in his contract for an additional year.
Cowley’s excited by the pair – and both could head out on loan next term.
The head coach added: ‘We now have two exciting young, attacking full-backs at the club in Haji and Liam – both have outstanding athletic potential and we will work with them to develop their game.
‘This, accompanied by an excellent learning capacity, are qualities we look for when signing young players.
‘Our plan for both of them is to provide an engaging environment and challenging games programme.
‘We will monitor their progress during pre-season. Our aim is to get them regular football at first-team level this season – this is vital at this stage of their development.
‘We anticipate this being via a loan pathway but are always open-minded. As we have seen many times before, young players can make outstanding progress and force their way into the side.’