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Opinion: Portsmouth should look for fresh loan agreement with Championship club to solve alternative issue in 2022/23



Sadly for Portsmouth, it seems ever more unlikely that they will be able to secure a reunion with Blackburn Rovers defender Hayden Carter this summer.

The second half of the 2021/22 season saw Carter enjoy an outstanding temporary spell at Fratton Park, leading to many of a Pompey persuasion admitting their desire to see the 22-year-old back at the club next season.

But with two years remaining on his contract with Blackburn, who have the option to extend that deal by a further 12 months, the ball is very much in the Championship club’s court with regards to any negotiations over another move for the defender.

As a result, with out of contract captain Darragh Lenihan and Brighton loanee Jan Paul van Hecke having moved on from Ewood Park since the end of the 2021/22 campaign, Rovers do now find themselves short on options in the centre of defence.

That means it would be a big surprise to see them let another go in the form of Carter, especially given their head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson’s stated desire to work with and develop young players such as the 22-year-old.

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However, while that may mean that a deal for Carter looks to be off the table as things stand, that does not mean Portsmouth should completely rule doing business with Blackburn this summer, to fill the void left by another departing loanee in a different position.

Like Carter, goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu had an excellent time on loan with Pompey, this time with Manchester City, throughout the course of the 2021/22 season.

The Republic of Ireland international quickly established himself as the club’s first choice between the posts, and was another to become a firm favourite at the club in the wake of some outstanding performances.

However, the 20-year-old is another Danny Cowley will be unable to call upon next season, after Bazunu completed a move to Premier League Southampton earlier this week, with the level he is now set to play an indicator of the quality he produced at Fratton Park.

So with Bazunu gone, Portsmouth now find themselves needing another option to step in between the posts, something which should see them consider turning their attentions back to Blackburn.

Since joining Blackburn from Middlesbrough back in the summer of 2020, Aynsley Pears has rather found himself struggling for game time at Ewood Park.

The 24-year-old has managed just eight appearances in the two seasons since making the switch to Lancashire, having instead been playing second-fiddle to Thomas Kaminski, who joined Rovers in that same transfer window.

With Kaminski having put pen to paper on a new contract with Blackburn until the summer of 2025, it feels unlikely that Pears will be getting too many more opportunities between the posts for Tomasson’s side any time soon.

As a result, the 24-year-old could certainly benefit from the chance of regular first-team opportunities, to build on the promise he showed on the rare occasions he filled in for Kaminski in the league last season, while gaining the experience and consistency needed to avoid the errors he showed during his side’s FA Cup defeat to Wigan in January.

In turn, that could see Portsmouth secure a solid replacement for Bazunu, who would surely benefit from such a run of games, and whose Championship experiences could give him the confidence to make an impression in League One.

Admittedly, Blackburn themselves would likely have to source alternative back-up for Kaminski if Pears was to make a temporary move such as this for next season.

But given the long term benefits that could provide for Pears, there would be a case for Rovers to take that sort of action required for such a move to happen, especially considering that with two years remaining on the ‘keeper’s contract, they too could benefit from this move, as well as Pears and Pompey.

It seems therefore, that while a move to bring Carter back to Fratton Park any time soon would feel like a big surprise, there are still options at Blackburn that Portsmouth could well consider taking advantage of ahead of the start of the 2022/23 campaign.

UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Portsmouth should look for fresh loan agreement with Championship club to solve alternative issue in 2022/23

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