Success of past three Portsmouth signings from Ipswich bodes well for Ellis Harrison

The staff at Pompey and Ipswich must know each other fairly well at this point.

Sunday, 23rd June 2019, 6:41 pm
From left to right: David Norris, Matt Clarke and Brett Pitman

On Friday, the two clubs agreed a deal for Ellis Harrison to move to Fratton Park from Portman Road.

He joined the Blues for an undisclosed fee – believed to be around £450,000 – and signed a three-year deal.

Harrison’s switch represented the fifth transfer between the two clubs since 2011.

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Ellis Harrison. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Pompey have made three signings from the Tractor Boys during that period – with each proving to be a hit.

In 2011, David Norris joined Pompey on a free transfer after turning down a new deal at Ipswich.

The midfielder only spent one campaign on the south coast and couldn’t help Michael Appleton’s men avoid relegation from the Championship.

However, he endeared himself to the Fratton faithful, finishing with eight goals in 42 appearances before joining Leeds the following summer.

April 7 is known as David Norris Day within the PO postcode. 

Matt Clarke would be the next to arrive at the Blues from Portman Road – and was the best of the trio.

Originally signed on loan by Paul Cook in 2015, he’d make his switch permanent the following summer as a makeweight for Adam Webster heading in the opposite direction.

Clarke made hurtling progress during his four-year spell on the south coast.

He played a key role when Cook’s side capture the League Two title in 2017 before developing into the best defender in League One last season.

Rock-solid defensively, classy in possession and the prowess to raid forward and be a genuine playmaker, bringing him to the Blues was a shrewd piece of business.

After 175 appearances, nine goals, a four-tier winners’ medal and a Checkatrade Trophy triumph, he’s gone to Premier League Brighton with everyone wishing him well.

The most recent signing from East Anglia came two years ago when Brett Pitman joined Pompey.

At the time, it was regarded as a major coup. A proven Championship goalscorer, he was Kenny Jackett’s showpiece signing during the 2017 summer transfer window.

Pitman had a scintillating first season at the Blues, plundering 25 goals.

And while he had a brief spell in the cold last term, the captain displayed the right attitude to win back a starting berth from March onwards.

Although he was out of favour for long periods, Pitman still bagged 13 times. 

It’s not a given Harrison will fire on all cylinders just because the other three former Ipswich players have enjoyed success at PO4.

He still has to show the right application and quality for Kenny Jackett’s side next season.

Nevertheless, it’s something that augurs well for the 25-year-old.