Kenny Jackett told the Portsmouth News yesterday that he’s not currently interested in talking new contracts with his ten players with expiring deals.
Brett Pitman, Oli Hawkins, Luke McGee, Ronan Curtis, Christian Burgess, Lee Brown, Brandon Haunstrup, Adam May, Anton Walkes and Matt Casey are all without a deal extending beyond the current season, although Eire international Curtis does have a one-year option in his current terms.
Still, that’s a large chunk of the current squad without certainty over their future, with several first-team regulars on the list. Full-back Brown is currently injured, but certainly a key first-team player, with Walkes, Burgess and Pitman also likely to feature on a regular basis.
Whilst Jackett wants to concentrate on football matters for the time being, it could be a bad move to not consider the future of some of his key players. Not all of those on the list will get a new deal; Luke McGhee is certainly out of favour and the likelihood is he won’t be getting fresh terms come the end of the season.
However, some of the players will and Jackett should surely be prioritising deals for a couple of those players.
We pick three that we think deserve new terms sooner rather than later at Fratton Park.
The 27-year-old is a key part of Pompey’s first team. He’s already made five League One appearances last season, following on from 38 in total last time out.
If he stays injury-free, he’s sure to be around the first team for the whole campaign and whether they go up or not, would be a valuable squad player next season.
He’s a good age for a move too, so tying him down now might at least secure a transfer fee if they did want to move him on in the summer.
This is surely the priority, clause or no clause. even if they do keep him in the squad by virtue of the one-year option, it might not be enough to show him how valued he is.
Curtis is one of their key players, a competent and exciting winger with a big future ahead of him. His form hasn’t been as spectacular as his first six months at the club, but that doesn’t detract from his value.
They should be getting him to pen a d three-year deal, to at least ensure they show him how improtant he is.
Walkes has certainly started this season in decent form, but at just 22-years-old he has a big future ahead of him.
His time in the MLS has made him a more rounded and experienced player and as he gets senior football, his quality will only improve.
They have to make sure his head isn’t turned in January. Players can sign agreements with six months of their existing deal left and surely a Championship side can see the ability Walkes has.
Pompey have to safeguard their future.