Versatile Pompey signing Thompson lauded

Joe Gallen has hailed new Pompey signing Nathan Thompson.

Saturday, 24th June 2017, 10:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:22 am
Nathan Thompson and Joe Gallen. Picture: Colin Farmery

And Kenny Jackett’s right-hand man believes the 26-year-old’s versatlity will allow the Blues to seamlessly change systems in League One.

Thompson penned a two-year deal at Fratton Park on Thursday – after turning down a new contract at Swindon Town.

The player had a number of clubs – including Championship outfits QPR and Ipswich Town – in hot pursuit of his signature. He was originally earmarked by Paul Cook before the former Blues boss departed for Wigan at the end of last month.

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Gallen revealed Thompson is someone himself and Jackett have long admired.

They even tried to sign him when they were in charge of Wolves.

And Pompey’s assistant manager feels the Blues’ first addition of the summer is an outstanding one.

‘We’re delighted to have signed Nathan,’ said Gallen.

‘He is actually someone me and Kenny tried to bring to Wolves a few years ago.

‘We always spoke about Nathan coming to play in the Championship for us.

‘The ball was rolling prior to us getting here and it has helped us along.

‘The initial stages of trying to sign a player is a long-winded process and it takes a lot of time.

‘To finally secure his services – and with it being our first signing – we’re absolutely delighted.

‘We want to build the team up, build the club and try to find a successful team to compete in League One.’

Thompson is someone who is able to function in numerous positions.

He graduated through Swindon’s academy as a right-back and also broke into the first team at the County Ground operating there.

The Chester-born player was made captain of the Robins at just 22 and led them into the League One play-off final in 2015.

In recent seasons, Thompson has moved into central defence and filled the role of sweeper in a back three.

He is also capable of serving in central midfield, where Pompey are short of experience after Michael Doyle departed for Coventry and Stanley Aborah was deemed surplus to requirements.

Gallen has stressed the importance of the Blues having the ability to switch systems if plan A isn’t working out.

And he feels Thompson’s flexibility will be crucial to that.

The 44-year-old added: ‘Usually players come in and want to secure one position.

‘But the thing with him is he is a confident player and is experienced in a number of positions.

‘I don’t want to tag him as a utility man.

‘He can play right-back, in the middle of a three-man defence or go into midfield and do a job.

‘It’s naive if you think you can have one system and stick with it.

‘You need at least two systems to be successful.

‘Teams work you out. You have to change if you’re winning or losing and Nathan complements that.’