Portsmouth have been linked with a move for an 18-y/o left-back from Scotland as they step up their recruitment with the new season imminent, as reported by the Ross-Shire Journal.
Kenny Jackett has been restricted somewhat in the transfer market due to his current squad size, but Ross County defender Josh Reid wouldn’t count towards the senior squad quota, given his tender age. He’s appeared five times for Ross County in the SPFL and is rated as an exciting prospect by the management at Victoria Park.
Reid has been with The Staggies for ten years and has burst onto the scene this season. The SPFL is already five games into the latest campaign, with Ross County currently third. His performances were praised by manager Stuart Kettlewell recently: “I had hoped Josh was going to perform to the level he has done and I’ve been delighted with him,” he said.
“I’ll probably sound as if I’m heaping loads of pressure on him, but there has to be an element of pressure that comes with it for young players. If we believe in them, they have to believe in themselves. The demands will only increase for Josh.”
The report suggests Kenny Jackett could see the youngster as a viable first-team option, not simply a hot prospect, and that Pompey have already been on two scouting missions to see him in action.
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Signing Reid for an immediate first-team place would be a gamble, but with limits on the number of players you can have over the age of 22 in your squad, it is a clever tactic by Pompey. If they find young talent that could hold it with the senior professionals, then they’re essentially getting a ‘free hit’ in terms of the numbers.
The previous Pompey model has seen early 20-something players being plucked from non-league (Hawkins, Lowe, Hackett-Fairchild), but there will be less scope for such projects under the salary cap initiative. That means adapting and by targetting Reid, Pompey are demonstrating their ability to adapt.