Where Pompey need to recruit this summer

It seems it's a matter of when, not if, Ronan Curtis will sign for Pompey.

Saturday, 19th May 2018, 10:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:35 am
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

For the past week, back pages of The News have been left blank for most of the day in anticipation, multiple phone calls have been made to club officials, while the Derry City forward has come out himself to say he’s moving to Fratton Park.

Yet there is still nothing confirmed. Nada. The deal is far from done, apparently. The saga continues.

At this rate, winter will arrive on Game Of Thrones before a quirky video announcing the Republic of Ireland under-21 international’s move to the Blues is posted on the club’s Twitter account.

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Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Although it’s been the hot topic of conversation, no doubt it’s just one path manager Kenny Jackett has been exploring in his bid to bolster his squad.

Behind closed doors, it’s fair to say the boss is plotting the Blues’ way into the Championship.

In his final press conference of the campaign, Jackett admitted he doesn’t envision many signings this summer.

But, scrutinising his current squad, it’s likely Curtis will be the first of at least six new arrivals at Fratton Park this summer.

Following the release of Kal Naismith, Nicke Kabamba, Theo Widdrington and Jez Bedford – as well as the seven loanees returning to their respective parent clubs – Jackett has only 16 senior players remaining on his books.

On top of that, you can already take out keeper Alex Bass and third-year scholars Dan Smith and Matt Casey.

That trio are likely to go out on loan and gain crucial first-team experience elsewhere.

Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future is also unclear.

Meanwhile, the Blues boss must factor in the potential departures of Matt Clarke and Conor Chaplin.

Even if the Blues do keep hold of prized-asset Clarke, and the Worthing talent remains at PO4, it still leaves Jackett with several gaping holes to fill.

Curtis will fill one of the voids on the left-hand side of midfield – an area in need of bolstering, both in terms of numbers and productivity, with both Kal Naismith and Matty Kennedy no longer at Fratton Park.

Despite Curtis’ potential switch, Jackett will likely be eager to sign another left-sided forward.

A keeper is also high on the Pompey manager’s priority list. The arrival of Stephen Henderson in January suggested he wants more experience and know-how to command the box than what Luke McGee offered this season.

Meanwhile, another goalscorer is a necessity.

Brett Pitman became the first Blues striker in 15 years to break the 20-goal barrier.

It was a remarkable feat from the skipper, but not another Pompey player reached double figures in the league.

Pitman will, no need, require assistance to fire the Blues to the Championship.

Let’s not forget the combative central midfielder Pompey faileed to sign on January, too.

Meanwhile, an extra right-back to offer cover for Nathan Thompson is needed – and Jackett has to weigh up if he believes Brandon Haunstrup and Dion Donohue are sufficient options to solve the left-back problems.