The 23-year-old scored 15 goals in all competitions and cemented himself as the club’s first choice number nine in the second half of the campaign.
The striker had not found the net in English senior football from 36 appearances heading into this season, but Danny Cowley was able to get the best out of him and could pursue a permanent transfer this summer.
Hirst took to Instagram to express his emotions around his loan from Leicester City coming to an end.
He wrote: “Pompey where do I start…
“Forever grateful for the opportunity to have played for your amazing club, to all the fans who have supported me this season through good times and bad, to the staff for helping me improve as a player, and to all the boys I’ve shared the pitch with this season who have made me feel a part of the family, it’s been a pleasure.
“I can’t thank you all enough.
“Time to rest up and see what the future holds.”
It is very unlikely that Hirst will be able to force his way into the first team picture at the King Power Stadium, and though he has performed admirably in the third tier this term, probably not well enough to convince Championship clubs that he would be a viable option in the summer.
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Danny Cowley has a good reputation in working with younger players and Hirst is another example of a player who has hit new heights playing under him.
The obvious move would be for Hirst to move to Fratton Park permanently in the summer, but that depends on a lot of financial factors, and in the current climate, Pompey are not the big players they once were in League One.
A large portion of the current Pompey squad are either edging towards the end of their contracts in Hampshire, or could have potential suitors elsewhere this summer.
Which could on the one hand give the club funds to reinvest in someone like Hirst, or on the other hand make them a less desirable destination for the youngster, looking at a potential decrease in the quality of the squad.
Cowley will have his work cut out this summer in looking to build a squad capable of pushing for promotion next term.