Pressure will be on Jackett over Chaplin's replacement

The Pompey squad jigsaw still has a few pieces missing.

Wednesday, 11th July 2018, 6:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 6:46 pm

And making sure they fit perfectly could well be crucial in completing the League One puzzle.

Conor Chaplin's increasingly-likely exit has made has made a big impact in this still early stage of pre-season.

But as the dust settles from the transfer news emerging, thoughts are quickly turning to how that affects the hunt for recruits.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Chaplin's role was always likely to be key in Kenny Jackett bringing in the striker he feels his attacking options need.

Pace is the quality the Pompey boss feels is currently missing from his attacking options. And amid his current attackers - Oli Hawkins, Brett Pitman, Louis Dennis and Chaplin (with Ronan Curtis and Jamal Lowe viewed as wide men) - it's true he doesn't possess a real speedster

Cheltenham's Mo Eisa has one again resurfaced as a favoured option of Jackett's.

The fact Pompey are showing their interest in a player who's had a £1.5m price tag slapped on his head and appeared to be on his way to the Championship will excite.

Attacking dynamism and particularly goals up front (25 last season in Eisa's case) come at a premium, however.

Which makes the money generated from any Chaplin sale important.

Bristol Rovers and Barnsley are names to be added to Coventry's as suitors for the 21-year-old, with the prospect of a bidding war appealing to Pompey.

It's the Sky Blues who have chased hardest, though, and have around £1.2m from Marc McNulty's sale to Reading in their coffers.

The Sky Blues will have to invest a significant lump of that fee into taking Chaplin to the Ricoh Arena. The posturing is now being played out, a scenario we can expect to be repeated in the pursuit of a successor if Chaplin leaves.

Just as Pompey are negotiating with Coventry knowing their pockets are full, a selling club will be aware the Blues have money to spend.

Pompey's own £550,000 windfall from a sell-on clause as Adam Webster moved from Ipswich to Bristol City would've been noted.

And the pressure will be on when it comes to bringing in additions of the right quality. The emotive nature of selling a popular home-grown player will be used as a stick to beat Jackett if it goes wrong next term.

But that's the lot of a football manager, and the Pompey boss like the rest of his peers have to back themselves to get it right.