Insider: Disappointing loan for Pompey's Kabamba
Nicke Kabamba will return to Fratton Park next month upon the expiry of a disappointing Colchester United loan spell.
The striker has failed to score in 10 appearances for the U’s – and not made a match-day 18 for five weeks.
Colchester Gazette sports writer Jonathan Waldron reflects on the Pompey man’s time at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
It’s a shame, such a nice guy, a very genuine, humble lad who is grateful for being a professional footballer.
You really want him to do well, but unfortunately it hasn’t work out at Colchester.
When he first came in you could see that something was there.
His link-up play was pretty good, he was strong in the air and seemed to be a good team player.
However, Kabamba didn’t really look like scoring himself, which is the reason he was brought in on loan.
At the time Colchester were struggling for results, Sammie Szmodics was out injured and goals were required.
When that didn’t happen, the manager made changes.
Eventually, Kabamba was dropped from the team and then results picked up – but that was not necessarily down to him.
The pivotal moment came after Colchester went out to Oxford City in the first round of the FA Cup.
Although Kabamba didn’t play in that game, the following Tuesday evening he was selected in the Checkatrade Trophy against Southend.
Boss John McGreal was looking for players to step up and try to show him their worth for a starting spot.
Unfortunately, a lot didn’t perform in that 2-0 defeat – and Kabamba was among those who paid the price.
He has not made a squad since and, with Colchester having lost two of their past 10 league matches, he remains out of the first-team frame.
There were times early on when he had goal-scoring chances, and when you’re a striker you need to take them.
Whether they are saved or missed, that is what you are judged on.
And while he didn’t get many goal opportunities, when they did come along he didn’t put them into the back of the net.
It’s just one of those things sadly, it didn’t happen for Kabamba for a variety of reasons.
Players are back from injury, Mikael Mandron is the preferred choice, Szmodics has lots of goals behind the striker and Drey Wright has moved into a central position from the wing.
In addition, Sanmi Odelusi is the striker who comes off the bench.
And that has meant Kabamba being left out and the loan not extended.