Gavin Bazunu was much sought after this summer with Burton Albion, Charlton Athletic and Ipswich Town all showing interest, however, the 19-year-old chose Portsmouth having seen similarities between the work of Pep Guardiola and Danny Cowley, he told Pompey-based site The News.
The four time Republic of Ireland senior international impressed last season in his loan spell with Rochdale, despite Dale’s poor defensive record and eventual relegation to League Two. Bazunu caught the eye, as his adept distribution demonstrated his obvious potential.
He said: “For me, I have a desire to play – and play good football. Obviously being at Manchester City and the way they play, I wanted to come to a team which wants to perform in a similar fashion. That’s only going to improve me as a goalkeeper and help my development.
“My overall goal is to be number one at Manchester City one day. To give myself the best chance of achieving that goal is to come to a team which plays similarly.”
Bazunu has already struck a clear understanding with the Pompey gaffer.
“I’ve put a lot of trust in Danny (Cowley), he has told me what he wants to do this season and it sounds really exciting, so I can’t wait to get started,” he continued.
“From training over the last two weeks you can see how we want to go about things, playing really high energy, with intensity, and hopefully playing exciting football.”
Pompey will be aiming to compete at the other end of the League One table compared to Rochdale’s 2020/21 efforts, it is a fierce home crowd at Fratton Park that are expecting nothing less than promotion. It will be interesting to see how Bazunu copes with that pressure.
It is great that Bazunu is so ambitious, setting his sights on City’s number one spot and already impressing his manager at international level, Stephen Kenny, to earn four caps at the age of 19.
Goalkeeper’s typically peak in their 30s so Bazunu has so much time to develop and prepare for a career at the top level. Portsmouth appears a perfect step up from Rochdale and will be a great experience particularly due to the club’s passionate base, one of the largest in the division.
Zack Steffen and Arijanet Muric are above Bazunu in the pecking order to deputise Ederson for Manchester City, but he has youth on his side and another successful loan move will continue his upward trajectory.