Which out of contract Portsmouth players should stay at Fratton Park?

By Jacques Necker

Pompey’s board has a reputation of waiting until the end of the season before discussing new contracts with players.

Whether it is due to financial ramifications, or an attempt to maintain squad morale by not causing a split in the dressing room, the Blues have aired on the side of caution in the past in regards to offering new contracts mid-season.

This is a risky approach because key players could end up moving for free at the end of the season, as pre-contract agreements with other clubs can take place. 

Last season’s player of the season awarded by The News Portsmouth, Christian Burgess, signed for Royale Union Saint-Gilloise at the end of last season on a three-year deal, which dwarfed Pompey’s offer.

The lack of urgency from the Fratton Park board, and their failure to actively pursue new contracts during the season, proved vital in Burgess’ move abroad. 

The same situation is likely to happen again if the board doesn’t strike sooner.

Some players, such as Andy Cannon, Ben Close, Haji Mnoga and Duncan Turnbull, have optional contract extensions for one year, but some key first-team players are not protected.

I analysed some of the senior members of the Pompey squad that are out of contract in the summer, and assessed whether the board should actively pursue contract talks.

Craig MacGillivray

A simply phenomenal goalkeeper at League One level, and can easily make the step into the Championship.

The Pompey number one was previously linked to current Scottish champions Rangers, which shows how highly regarded the 28-year-old is. 

MacGillivray has single handily saved Pompey from an embarrassing score against Salford City at Wembley stadium, and was statistically the best goalkeeper in League One at one point this season.

Pompey must act now and offer him a new contract immediately.

Jack Whatmough

The blues defender has been an integral part of the backline since the departure of Christian Burgess this summer. 

Whatmough bounced back from a third serious knee injury last November, and his ball-playing capabilities haven’t lost a step. 

Despite the ongoing risk of further injuries to his knee, this is a gamble that the board should take. 

The centre-half is still fairly young at the age of 24, but has bags of experience. He would be an integral part of a League One, or a Championship squad.

Tom Naylor

The Pompey skipper has been the cornerstone of the first-team for a long time, and has accumulated a large number of admirers since joining from Burton Albion in the summer of 2018.

The experienced midfielder has proved to be a leader in this side, often taking the game by the scruff of the neck and producing moments of magic. 

Considering Pompey don’t have an adequate defensive replacement for Naylor in midfield, he would be a massive loss for Pompey.

Charlie Daniels

The former Bournemouth left back signed on a short-term deal until the end of the campaign in January of this year. 

A player regarded of high quality from fans of his former clubs, but hasn’t replicated that form at Fratton Park. 

His form has been mixed; Daniels is an exceptional dead ball taker, with a wand of a left foot, but lacks the mobility needed to cover defensive gaps. 

Often this is not seen as much of a problem, but in a division where the majority of teams are effective at counter-attacking, this isn’t ideal.

I don’t see many clubs vying for his signature, so I would wait until the end of the season and see what league Pompey are in before any contract talks.

Jordy Hiwula

Game time has been extremely limited for the former Coventry striker, but he has produced sparks of excellence during his rare outings. 

Hiwula is currently out for what could be the rest of the season with an ankle injury, so it is unlikely he will get any more chances to impress.

This latest injury setback will most likely reduce his chances of earning a new contract. 

He has looked good in the games he’s played in, but there will be better players available in the summer.

Bryn Morris

Morris is far away from the first-team, especially since being loaned out to Northampton. 

He has been injury stricken, but even in the games he’s played, he failed to make an impact on the pitch, and has struggled to dictate the play in midfield. 

He shouldn’t be offered a new contract.

Ryan Williams

Williams has been the most consistent player for Pompey this season, giving 110% every single game. 

The Australian has searing pace, causing opposition defences all sorts of problems and is proving vital in the Cowley brothers pressing system.

His end product has also improved dramatically and has taken a lot more of his chances than last season.

Williams has more than earned a new deal and is an excellent option as a regular first-team midfielder, or as a squad depth option.

Photo: Losing My Sight

One thought on “Which out of contract Portsmouth players should stay at Fratton Park?

  1. Think we should let Morris,Hiwula and Daniels go as never really done anything when played,and if honest been disappointed with Daniels and Hiwula

    Like

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