Youngster must prove fitness before new Pompey deal

CHRISTIAN Oxlade-Chamberlain must prove he is over his leg break before Pompey initiate a new contract offer.

Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 12:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:24 am
Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain in action for Pompey's reserves in January Picture: Colin Farmery

The promising youngster sustained the injury during shooting practise in a freak training ground accident last month.

It left the versatile performer in limbo, with his Blues deal expiring this summer.

However, Jackett is weighing up handing over a month-to-month contract to Oxlade-Chamberlain, depending on a return to fitness.

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The 19-year-old is expected to be back in Pompey training for pre-season, which kicks off at the end of June.

And Jackett will then assess whether to proceed with negotiations to extend Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Fratton Park stay.

The Blues boss said: ‘In terms of Christian’s injury, he will be fit for pre-season.

‘He will then need to do pre-season with us and get playing in the reserve games.

‘I don’t know whether a loan spell is the right thing – or if he is available – but he will need to get playing in the reserves and, from our point of view, we have to make sure he is 100 per cent and over that particular injury.

‘He is a powerful lad and it will be interesting for me to see how he goes with pre-season and early season, but mainly it’s a reaction off the injury and looking after him to make sure he has a platform for next season.

‘He’s has a very good character and is a good individual, I will be interested to see how he develops because he has pace and power.

‘First off we expect the injury to recover, but you never know and we will see by July where he is. That is going to have to be the case.

‘By our expectation, on day one of pre-season he will be fit and training with us, but we have to see that first.

‘We will assess it on a month-by-month basis as we go along through pre-season and then early season in the games, it’s an opportunity for him to impress.’

Oxlade-Chamberlain appeared for Pompey in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy loss at Exeter in September 2015.

To date, that represents his sole first-team outing, although he was an unused substitute on four occasions this season.

The campaign saw him feature on loan at Poole Town and then Oxford City in the National League South.

However, the Blues’ injury situation meant he was recalled in March, breaking his leg three weeks later.

Oxlade-Chamberlain graduated from the academy in 2016 and also had loan spells at Salisbury and Eastbourne.