Portsmouth have so far endured a poor start to their League One campaign, with the South Coast side having so far registered just one single victory in their first five games, drawing two and losing two. Naturally, manager Kenny Jackett will be looking for an upturn in his side’s fortunes.
With Pompey having suffered late heartbreak at the back end of last season when they lost to Sunderland in the semi-finals of the playoffs, Jackett will be aiming to go one better and achieve promotion this season with a club that carries a heavyweight of expectation from both the board room and from an expectant fanbase.
After the disappointment of last season, Jackett has had to undergo a revamp of his squad, with key players, centre back Matt Clarke and winger Jamal Lowe departing for Brighton and Wigan respectively, yielding a profit of £5.94 million.
This figure was swiftly reinvested in the purchase of a marquee signing, which came in the form of Doncaster Rovers striker John Marquis, who arrived at Fratton Park for a fee of believed to be in the region of close to £2 million, a fee that shows both the rise in market value of English players but also the reputation that Marquis has built up for himself.
People may argue that the fee was inflated for a 27-year-old but it is worth noting that Pompey have acquired a player who is in the prime of his career, with Marquis having notched up 26 goals in 54 games across all competitions last season, averaging a goal every 186 minutes.
Marquis fits perfectly into Jackett’s preferred 4-3-2-1 formation and with both Marcus Harness and Ronan Curtis supporting him in attack, Marquis receives good service both through the middle and from out wide, with Pompey’s full-backs also overlapping to provide extra crossing options.
It is clear that Jackett sees a lot in Marquis, given that he gave the striker his Millwall debut back in 2009, citing the striker’s high work rate and all-round game as reasons behind the signing when speaking to the club’s website.
The high work rate that Marquis possess will be vital to getting Portsmouth up the pitch, with the player showing his willingness to put the hard yards in and run the channels during his time at Doncaster Rovers.
There is no doubt that Pompey have snapped up one of the league’s best finishers, it is now down to his teammates and manager to get the best out of the investment that the club has made in him.