Portsmouth boss John Mousinho will not welcome reported Championship interest in right back Zak Swanson, reports The News (Portsmouth).
The former Arsenal defender enjoyed a successful debut season at Fratton Park and his performances have reportedly attracted the attention of second tier sides, Coventry City and Swansea City.
The 22-year-old’s season was cut short by injury, but he seemingly did enough to become a potential target for clubs at a higher level.
Swanson made 25 appearances for the South Coast club, scoring twice and notched a man of the match performance in Pompey’s FA Cup tie at Tottenham in January.
The talented defender departed The Emirates Stadium having failed to break into Mikel Arteta’s first team set-up and was sent out on loan to Dutch side, FC Maastricht in 2020, but made just three appearances before being recalled by the Gunners.
Swanson scored his first Portsmouth goal against Shrewsbury last October and established himself as a mainstay in Mousinho’s first team before his season-ending spell on the sidelines.
What Was Said?
Mousinho said: “We wouldn’t welcome any interest in Zak. He has a huge amount of talent.
I’ve have heard absolutely nothing about Coventry and Swansea so, as far as I am concerned, he is coming back in as one of our players on Monday for pre-season.
Genuinely nothing has come from either of those two clubs – or any other club for that matter.”
Portsmouth look to be making a real push to be serious promotion contenders in 2023/24 and keeping hold of Swanson will play a key part in those plans.
Snapped up from Arsenal after his release last summer, Swanson’s form for Pompey was superb until his season ended with a hernia injury in January. The right back returned to training in April, but Mousinho wrapped him in cotton wool, with one eye on the new season and did not return to first team action.
Pompey have already brought in keeper Will Norris, defender Conor Shaughnessy, midfielder Terry Devlin and winger Anthony Scully, as they look to finally return to the Championship.
With close to 13,000 season tickets sold, the Fratton Park faithful have again backed the club and will be as expectant as ever. Their recruitment already looks to be good business and if Mousinho can keep Swanson and add some more quality additions, it would be a major surprise if the bare minimum of a play off place isn’t achieved.