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‘So glad you are in the first team!’ ‘Pompey’s Xavi’ – Portsmouth fans issue glowing praise to phenomenal academy graduate



Portsmouth youngster Ben Close grabbed his first goal for the club in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Blackpool, having graduated from the club’s academy three years ago.

The 21-year-old put Pompey into a 2-1 lead at Bloomfield Road, before a late winner from top scorer Brett Ormerod ensured Portsmouth ended their run of three straight league defeats in a row.

Midfielder Close has become a regular in the heart of the Pompey side, and his performances in League One have been attracting plaudits from many across the division.

The youngster enjoyed loan spells at non-league Poole Town and Eastleigh before finding his way into Jackett’s side on a regular basis this season, although he did begin to appear under former boss Paul Cook last season as Pompey secured the League Two title on the final day of the season.

Fans have been delighted with the progression of Close, who they regard as one of the most promising youngsters in the entire Football League, and the Pompey faithful took to Twitter to express their delight at the academy graduate’s first professional strike…