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Key Portsmouth figure outlines clear transfer plans

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Portsmouth CEO Andy Cullen has revealed that the club are targeting at least five more signings before the end of August – but has admitted that it may not be possible to strengthen ahead of the August 7 season start date.

Cullen is a new arrival at Fratton Park, having been appointed to his role back in June after a spell at MK Dons and he’s come into a tough financial environment.

Whilst other League One clubs are splashing the cash such as Ipswich Town or making eye-catching signings on frees like Wigan Athletic, Pompey are having to cut their cloth accordingly as it was revealed last year during the height of the COVID crisis that the club were losing £700,000 a month.

That meant reduced contracts were on the table for the likes of Jack Whatmough, Tom Naylor and Ben Close who have all departed for other League One outfits and Danny Cowley has had to replace them accordingly.

So far Portsmouth have made six permanent signings – experience has arrived in the form of Kieron Freeman, Shaun Williams and Ryan Tunnicliffe along with Rotherham defender Clark Robertson and two young prospects have signed in Liam Vincent and Jayden Reid – although the latter will be on the sidelines for a while with a knee injury.

The loan market has also been used to bring in both Gavin Bazunu and Gassan Ahadme and Cullen has admitted that avenue is one they could go down again in the next few weeks but the focus isn’t on numbers – more how good the players that are going to be coming in.

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“We’re trying to get that balance right, bringing in the likes of Shaun Williams and Ryan Tunnicliffe, players that have played in the Championship,” said Cullen, per the Portsmouth News.

“We’re also using the loan market as effectively as we possibly can. We’ve got five loans to use and want to use them sensibly, making an impact on the team.

“Already there’s the likes of Gavin Bazunu. There are another couple we are working very, very hard to try to secure and we still have until August 31.

‘Naturally we would like to get all the recruitment done for the start of the season, but there has been a knock-on effect from the Euros this year and a lot of clubs will still be doing business after August 7 – and I don’t think we will be any different in that respect.

“There are a few more permanents to come in as well, so we’re certainly looking to bring in another five players.”

The Verdict

Portsmouth fans have been massively frustrated with their transfer activity this summer as they’ve watched potential promotion rivals strengthen massively.

Apart from perhaps Bazunu who is highly-rated at Man City and is an Ireland international, none of Pompey’s additions really jump off the page as exciting ones with Danny Cowley preferring solid, experienced names over anyone too flashy.

The club do need to make inroads on some more names in the coming weeks though – just looking at Pompey’s squad it does look weak compared to the likes of Ipswich, Wigan, Sheffield Wednesday and others and there will be worry amongst fans if there’s no strengthening done by the time August 7 comes round when they visit Fleetwood Town.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Key Portsmouth figure outlines clear transfer plans

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