This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett has turned to a League One rival after securing the signing of winger Marcus Harness from Burton Albion, on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee, as confirmed on the club website.
Pompey also have a further 12-month option on the 23-year-old Brewers academy graduate, who scored six goals in 39 games for Burton last season.
So will Harness prove a good addition at Fratton Park?
“This is a very smart signing.
“Harness showed last season that he more than has what it takes to cut it towards the top of the third-tier and I can see him fitting seamlessly into the Pompey team.
“With talk of Jamal Lowe’s departure continuing to swirl around Fratton Park I think it was important that a competent replacement was found.
“Jackett could have a difficult job building momentum after the disappointing way the previous campaign finished but making intelligent deals like this will only help his cause.”
“This is a strong signing from Portsmouth, as I can see Harness fitting in well at Fratton Park.
“Harness enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season at Burton last term and the fact he has already proven his quality in League One means Portsmouth fans should be feeling excited to see him play.
“He is a versatile attacker who is direct in his style and also likes to score goals which means he is very similar to Pompey’s Jamal Lowe, and the pair could be about to form a dangerous partnership on the south coast.
“However, there will be a concern that this move suggests Lowe’s departure is edging closer. But if this is the case, Harness’ arrival means Kenny Jackett has a ready-made replacement who can follow in the footsteps of Pompey’s star man.”
“It depends on how you view Harness and what his role will be within the Portsmouth squad.
“On one hand, 11 goal involvements isn’t going to be enough to replace someone like Jamal Lowe, should he leave Fratton Park. However, Harness is a 23-year-old winger, with plenty of potential and the ability to add something to the Pompey squad.
“Jackett will have to nurture that talent to make this worth Pompey’s while, which I’m sure is going to be the aim. And if Lowe departs, another goalscorer will be targeted.
“It’ll be an interesting one to watch, but at this early stage, I’m calling it to be a success.”