George Hirst has made a slow start to his loan spell at Portsmouth from Leicester City with the 22-year-old gradually gaining the trust of manager Danny Cowley.
Hirst has made five substitute appearances in the league and two starts one in the League Cup and one in the EFL Trophy. As a striker Hirst’s numbers are quite concerning, without a goal in English senior football at 22 years old after 43 appearances.
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Hirst is at the right destination at this stage of his career with a future with Leicester City in the Premier League looking increasingly unlikely.
Having managed in non-league and now all three Football League divisions impressing, Cowley could be pivotal for Hirst finding a Football League club in the near future.
Pompey have had attacking troubles so far this season, yet to battle to start up front seems purely between John Marquis and Ellis Harrison, that suggests that Hirst’s loan spell is not going very well.
Considering the 22-year-old made 31 appearances, not many starts, as a striker for Rotherham United last season and failed to score a single goal, it is a surprise to see a League One side with promotion ambitions pick him up.
Are these 22 Portsmouth stats real or fake?
The loan deal runs until the end of the season and if Hirst is still yet to make a league start by January the Foxes should consider recalling him.
There is no point of Hirst warming the bench in League One at the age of 22 when he could be developing and earning experience elsewhere.
Fratton Park is a high pressure environment compared to Hirst’s behind closed doors experience at Rotherham last season, hopefully if Pompey’s poor form continues Hirst can break this goal drought and hit the ground running when handed a start.
Until that happens it does not feel like he will gain a lot from this loan spell only starting regularly in cup competitions.