Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett has admitted that Oliver Hawkins has been the subject of considerable interest from elsewhere but is still very much a part of the club’s plans for the future.
The forward, who is set to miss Pompey’s clash with Sunderland on Saturday due to injury (via The News), has yet to feature for the club during the current campaign.
This latest setback follows a miserable pre-season for Hawkins who was only able to make one friendly appearance for Portsmouth due to an issue with his back.
Despite being an mainstay in Jackett’s starting eleven last season, the 27-year-old has recently fallen down the pecking order at Fratton Park with summer arrival Ellis Harrison currently leading the line for his new club.
Speaking to The News about Hawkins’ future, Jackett said: ‘There have been one of two enquiries for Oli, but no offer.
“We’ll see if it actually gets to that stage for me to then speak to the player.
“There have been no offers.
“You can put a level of enquiry in, maybe a manager who knows me might phone me, while recruitment teams talk to each other all the time.
“Mark and Tony might get their opposite numbers on the phone – but when it gets to their level usually it is serious stuff.
“A manager, coaching staff, recruitment staff, that is what I deem an enquiry.
“If it gets to Mark Catlin or Tony Brown, that’s an offer.
“Oli is someone I definitely want to keep, I am keen to see how he responds and if he can fight back.
“Hawkins will be aiming to make his return to action for Pompey when they face Queen Park Rangers in the second round of the Carabao Cup on August 27th.
When you consider that Hawkins managed to find the back of the net on 12 occasions during the previous campaign, it is clear that he is an asset for Pompey and thus keeping him at the club this summer may prove to be a wise decision by Jackett.
Whereas the forward is no longer guaranteed a starting role due to Pompey’s acquisitions of John Marquis and Harrison, he could still play a decisive role in helping the club launch a push for promotion this year.
However, the impact that Hawkins may be able to make for Portsmouth over the coming months will depend on whether he can remain injury-free this year.If the forward continues to struggle with his fitness, Jackett may be forced to change his current stance as Hawkins will be no use to the club if he his not available for selection.