Verdict: Portsmouth could see five arrive before January transfer window closes

Pompey could bring in up to five new signings between now and the end of the January transfer window.

By Mark McMahon
Friday, 25th January 2019, 8:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:13 pm
Football Focus is filming at Fratton Park today
Football Focus is filming at Fratton Park today

That's the verdict of News sports writer Will Rooney, who even believes a sixth arrival might come through the doors of Fratton Park in what is expected to be a busy few days for manager Kenny Jackett and chief executive Mark Catlin.

The size of the League One leaders’ squad has diminished this month – despite the signings of midfielders Andy Cannon and Bryn Morris.

Loanees Joe Mason, Ben Thompson, Andre Green and David Wheeler have all returned to their parent clubs.

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Meanwhile, Danny Rose brought his two-and-a-half-year Blues career to an end by joining Swindon on a free transfer last week.

Those departures have certainly weakened Pompey’s hand heading into the business end of the season.

And with Oli Hawkins (calf), Nathan Thompson (hamstring) and Luke McGee (wrist) continuing to occupying the treatment room, Jackett is being forced to utlilise those left at his disposal as best he can.

A selection headache in the attacking third is most certainly in need of a quick fix, with Louis Dennis (knee) also a cause for concern.

Jackett admitted it’s an area his recruitment team are particularly focusing on before the transfer window shuts at 11pm on Thursday, January 31.

And speaking in the latest edition of Pompey Talk, Rooney believes at least three, if not four, forward-thinking players need to be added if Pompey are to withstand the pressure around them and claim promotion to the Championship this season.

Rooney said: ‘They definitely need two wingers, if not three.

'They need a striker in, two wingers, and I wouldn't rule out a third one, because you've got Ronan Curtis, who's had a two-and-a-half week break in the summer, his form has dropped a little bit and he's going to need a rest at some point.

'And with your wingers – okay, you've got (Gareth) Evans as well – but you never know when a hamstring might go with the intensity Pompey play at getting back and forward.

'You've got to get all basis covered and the wingers to Jackett's set-up are so crucial, getting it into the target man, getting pace behind them.

‘If you lose that, and we seen it against Blackpool and Oxford, Pompey don't really have a plan B.

'So definitely two wingers, certainly another striker, Jackett may opt to bring another central defender in too just to shore himself up – and potentially a goalkeeper.’

Rooney added: ‘This late business is something Jackett wanted to avoid but, unfortunately, it's something Pompey are going to have to deal with to the best of their capabilities.’