Danny Cowley may have finally found Craig MacGillivray’s replacement as Portsmouth close in on a loan deal for Manchester City starlet Gavin Bazunu, according to the Portsmouth News.
The south coast club have been searching for a new number one after they decided to let MacGillivray go with his contract running down.
And they have landed on the 19-year-old talent that is Bazunu, who gained a boatload of experience in League One last season when he played 29 times for Rochdale.
Whilst Dale may have been relegated to League Two, Bazunu was still impressive and he was the main reason that Rochdale didn’t ship as many goals as they actually did, and he looks set to secure a move to a team who will be contending for promotion to the Championship in 2021-22.
Bazunu, who City snapped up from Shamrock Rovers when he was just 16, is also a full Republic of Ireland international and has made four appearances since March, and a season between the sticks at Fratton Park will do his chances of being Stephen Kenny’s regular first-choice no harm at all.
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Pompey expect the deal to be done this weekend for the youngster to join up with his new team-mates for training on Monday, but he may have to wait a while longer to train with the centre-back pairing that will play in-front of him when the season begins as a replacement for Jack Whatmough still hasn’t arrived yet.
Bazunu is a smart pick-up for Pompey and he could be the latest in a long line of goalkeepers who have dipped into the EFL for experience to then go on to be regular features in the Premier League and at international level.
The likes of Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Dean Henderson, Robert Sanchez and others all plied their trade at some point in the EFL and Bazunu could join that list in a few years – even though you have to wonder if he will ever develop into being a Man City-level goalkeeper.
It should be interesting to see if there’s genuine competition between Bazunu and Alex Bass to be Cowley’s first-choice stopper but you’d imagine that the Irishman is getting certain guarantees to sign for Portsmouth, so it would be no surprise if he starts the campaign in-between the sticks.