What loan deal reveals about Pompey's transfer policy
There's nothing like a bit of transfer business to whet the appetite of supporters.
But Pompey’s double loan swoop for two of Wolves’ bright, young things did invoke a fair sprinkling of doubt from elements of the Fratton faithful.
Yes, Kenny Jackett’s wilting squad needs its gaps plugging but why is it with players we’re developing for the benefit of others?
Moreover, what’s the sense in recruiting two emerging talents temporarily if it will hinder the pathway to first-team action for those we already have in the building?
It’s an honest concern with a valid standpoint on the surface of things.
Being good players helps, though, so some of that sentiment undoubtedly disappeared amid the glowing praise afforded Connor Ronan’s impressive league debut against Scunthorpe.
With the noise made about harnessing the young players at the club, however, you could see where those voicing doubts over the deal were coming from.
In reality, though, the arrival of the young duo tells of the road Pompey are heading down.
With Wolves flying high at the top of the Championship, both players are finding playing time hard to come by. In reality, in league terms, it’s been virtually non-existent, in fact.
Ronan has picked up seven appearances for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, no league starts and a total of 29 minutes of second-tier action.
Deslandes has just three outings to his name, again no league starts and 26 minutes off the bench.
So Pompey, in the short term, are offering the pair something their parent club are unable to.
With their path to first-team football blocked by big-money recruits and the midlanders 10 points clear at the top of the Championship, their task of getting game time there doesn’t look set to get easier anytime soon.
Ronan’s contract with his parent club carries him through to next year with Deslandes’ up in the summer.
There’s no knowledge of either where the players’ long-term desires lie or the thoughts Wolves have about them.
But a decision with both young men will have to be made at different points down the line – and that’s where Pompey conceivably could come in.
Jackett’s appreciation of the players is well established, with the pair going to Molineux when he was in charge of the first team.
And the Blues boss is putting his club in a strong position to pick up the pieces, if they do need to move on to forward their careers.
It’s an approach Gallen hinted at this week when speaking to the local press.
‘They’ve spent a lot of money, so he’ll have a job to get in at Wolves,’ Gallen said when talking of Ronan.
‘If they go up, and it looks like they will, they will spend a lot of money again. There will be others, too, because they have a category one academy. There is a lot of investment there and they have, and do, produce a lot of players.
‘There are a lot of players of a certain age who aren’t getting in there who may have to end up going somewhere – especially if they go up.’
For Wolves’ category one academy you can also read the likes of Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea and the other set-ups stockpiling young talent.
A big part of Pompey’s current recruitment policy is built around knowing which of the young players being cast off by the big guns are worth picking up – and having the contacts to make it happen.
It’s the kind of detail Jackett prides himself on, with the boss seeing no excuse for not having the network of intelligence in place to find out who these players are.
It’s a policy which should see Pompey’s emerging gems complemented by other rough diamonds their manager can mould into shining jewels.