Yes, Kenny Jackett, as you would expect, has made it clear Conor Chaplin will only leave on Pompey’s terms. However, it seems merely a matter of time now and a case of when and not if, right?
Quite rightly, Jackett isn’t prepared to allow the Blues, as a club, to become weaker by letting Chaplin leave without a replacement lined up. But with the club clearly prepared to let the local lad leave and clubs – Coventry, Bristol Rovers and Barnsley – watching on, if Chappers doesn’t go before the August deadline you have to feel he’ll leave next summer, if not in January.
As I’ve said previously, I’m a fan of Chaplin’s but it feels as if an exit is best for him and his career. Also, whatever we might think, and despite being in good pre-season form, can Paul Cook and Jackett be wrong? Both overlooked him in recent years, having worked with him day-in-day-out.
Even with a contract running down, Pompey know we’ll be assured of a compensation payout, so there’s no immediate pressure to offload Chaplin. Admittedly I do feel for him as it leaves him being treated like a piece of meat, stuck in the middle. Ok, that being said, if it isn’t the club doing this to a player, the players do it to clubs – this is football for you.
Interest in Cheltenham’s Mo Eisa would appear to be the key factor? Will Pompey pay up to £1.5m for him, is Eisa worth this? I honestly couldn’t say if I think he was, I wouldn’t say the Blues will refuse to pay such an amount though.
But, in closing, will, as always, say we have to go with the in Jackett – and the clubs’ owners – we trust, both in terms of the impending departure of Chaplin and the arrival of Eisa, or someone else.
PLAY UP POMPEY