Portsmouth Ruled Out Of Move For Midfielder With 184 Premier League Appearances

With their promotion to the Championship being an obvious step-up in quality, Portsmouth will have to recruit well if they want to be competitive in the second tier next season.

With a strong core of the squad currently, additions are needed to both add depth and potentially even a bit of experience with next term in mind.

They’ll be a bit of an expectation on manager John Mousinho and his players after winning the League One title on their way to gaining promotion to the Championship for the first time in 12 seasons. They were dominant in the third tier, winning the title by five points, but know that being pitched Championship brings a complete different challenge.

It could be deemed that Mousinho was rather ruthless with his retained list, releasing the likes of Joe Rafferty and Sean Raggett despite strong seasons. That could point to quite the overhaul in terms of players this season, and the manager obviously has a plan in place.

Portsmouth’s current recruitment model seems to be targeting young talent that Mousinho himself can improve. He’s already shown that with a number of players, just look at Abu Kamara and Alex Robertson, and that looks to be the direction that the club are going to continue to go in.

That does however narrow down their options slightly, and they’ve already removed themselves from the race to sign a player who there were rumours them being in for at one point.

That man being Newcastle United’s Matt Ritchie, who is set to leave the Toon this summer following the expiration of his contract. Ritchie has a plethora of experience at a very good level, with 184 Premier League appearances to his name and a further 123 in the Championship. But at the age of 34, he doesn’t fit into Mousinho’s plans.

Ritchie, a former Pompey player, will not be making a return to the club this summer, with The News revealing that he is not one of the newly-promoted side’s targets.

His experience would no doubt count for plenty but the youthful approach that Mousinho has worked with before, could well work again and that looks to be the way that the club will be going this summer.

Writer’s View

Now 34, Richie is past his prime years and no longer in Eddie Howe’s plans. Nonetheless, he could do quite the job in the Championship next season and will certainly have a few clubs vying for his services.

Portsmouth will however not be one of those simply due to the fact that he doesn’t fit Mousinho’s current model.

There will however be plenty of other options for the Championship newcomers this summer and there’s no doubt plans in place currently for approaching one or two players. Pompey should be fine in the second tier next term if this season is anything to go off, but getting their recruitment right could let them take a real step forward and establish themselves as a mainstay in the division.

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