Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley is planning to reintegrate striker Ellis Harrison into his squad after he turned down a move to fellow League One side Plymouth Argyle on Deadline Day.
The 27-year-old joined Pompey two years ago from Ipswich Town but he’s failed to really fire at Fratton Park since his arrival.
The Welshman scored nine league goals in 53 outings in his first two seasons at the south coast club and didn’t appear under Cowley’s management at the back end of the 2020-21 campaign due to an injury.
Cowley has since brought in the likes of George Hirst and Gassan Ahadme on loan from the Premier League and it looked as though Harrison was surplus to requirements, with his only appearance so far in League One this season coming against Shrewsbury Town as a last-minute substitute.
The Portsmouth News confirmed that a potential switch to the Pilgrims for Harrison failed to materialise, with the striker wanting to fight for his place at Pompey and in turn that meant Cowley could not get a new striker through the door.
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Cowley doesn’t see that as an issue though and he’s looking to give the forward a chance to show what he’s capable of going forward.
“Ellis feels like he has unfinished business and doesn’t think we’ve seen the best of him – I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him,” Cowley told the Portsmouth News.
“This morning we showed Ellis clips of what we think he does at his best and what that could do to the team if we can get him back to that place.
“But you have to get him into the physical condition first and foremost. It has been a real stop-start time for him.”
Some Portsmouth fans probably thought they’d seen the last of Harrison with several clubs seemingly interested this summer, but he could turn out to be a surprise package.
Harrison has never really found a regular run of form at Fratton Park but with a bit more confidence instilled by Cowley he could start finding the back of the net more.
Pompey fans are probably disappointed that they weren’t able to sign a striker on Deadline Day as they are the most exciting types of transfers, and they may be even more frustrated that it hinged on Harrison departing.
But the dust will soon settle and from the sounds of things work is already underway to get Harrison back up to full fitness and he could prove to be a useful deputy to John Marquis at the top end of the pitch.