Joe Morrell arrived at Kenilworth Road in the summer of 2020 from Bristol City, in what seemed to be a shrewd addition by Nathan Jones.
A Wales international, the central midfielder did not seem to be a part of Lee Johnson’s plans going into the 2020/21 campaign, with a lot of Bristol City fans unhappy with the club’s decision to let Morrell leave.
Winning Lincoln City’s Player of the Season award the year prior, the 24-year-old was expected to see regular first-team minutes for The Hatters.
However, the rise of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall slowed his progression with the Bedfordshire club down, leaving Morrell on the fringes.
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Showing bursts of positivity when given the chance under Jones, Morrell was unable to accumulate enough game time to prove himself at Luton.
Despite Dewsbury-Hall returning to Leicester City in the summer, Luton brought in the likes of Henri Lansbury and Allan Campbell, inflicting further confusion as to whether he was part of Jones’ plans for the new campaign.
However, Morrell eventually secured a move to Portsmouth in early August, putting pen-to-paper on a three-year deal with the south-coast club.
Making his debut for Pompey in a 2-0 win against Crewe Alexandra, Morrell played 16 minutes, before making his first start a week later against Doncaster Rovers.
Morrell’s inclusion into the first team was met with Portsmouth losing their way, and despite the 24-year-old showing his quality, Pompey fell to a seven-game winless run.
With Morrell’s performances increasing in quality as the season has progressed, he was integral to Portsmouth’s success against Sunderland at the weekend, with his excellent range of passing, helping to dictate play.
Morrell is operating next to former Luton teammate Ryan Tunnicliffe, and whilst they both struggled for regular football with The Hatters, they will be hoping to form an unbreakable partnership this season.