Portsmouth FC's transfer radar includes Sam Smith and these four. .
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Portsmouth FC’s transfer radar includes Sam Smith and these four other players

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Portsmouth are ready for life in the Championship after winning League One.

Pompey had a great season, winning League One with 97 points, and will return to the Championship for the first time since 2012.

John Mousinho has done an outstanding job at Fratton Park in his first management role, but those behind the scenes deserve a lot of praise, particularly for the fantastic recruitment during the season.

Mousinho will be looking to strengthen his team for the Championship, and he will be hopeful that the club can emulate this season’s transfer success.

With the summer transfer window quickly coming, we looked at five players Pompey should target.

Harrison Burrows

Connor Ogilvie was Portsmouth’s first-choice left-back this season, with Jack Sparkes serving as a capable backup, although Mousinho may aim to reinforce in this position.

One player he could pursue is Peterborough United defender Burrows, who was crowned League One Player of the Season after a strong season.

Burrows scored an astonishing 12 goals and 16 assists in 56 games in all competitions during the regular season, helping Posh reach the play-offs, and his profile was lifted even more when he scored twice in the 2-1 triumph over Wycombe Wanderers in the EFL Trophy final at Wembley.

The defender’s complete attention will be on guiding his boyhood team to promotion in the coming weeks, but he will have to make a choice about his future this summer, when his contract at the Weston Homes Stadium expire.

If Burrows is available on a free transfer, he will have plenty of Championship suitors, but the opportunity to join a club on the rise, such as Portsmouth, may appeal to him.

The offensive danger that Burrows would bring to the Pompey team is obvious, and the fact that he is Peterborough’s captain at the age of 22 highlights his leadership abilities.

Kwame Poku

Abu Kamara, a Norwich City loanee, was one of Portsmouth’s standout performers this season, scoring 10 goals and contributing 11 assists in 52 games, but it is unlikely that he will be able to return to the club this summer.

If Kamara does not return, Pompey will need reinforcements in the wide areas, and another Peterborough player might replace him in Poku.

Poku scored 12 goals and assisted eight times in 47 games in all competitions during the regular season, helping Posh finish in the top six, and his performances have not gone ignored.

According to TEAMtalk, Ipswich Town, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion, Millwall, Stoke City, and Bristol City were all keeping an eye on Poku ahead of the January transfer window, and while he stayed at Peterborough, they may face another battle to keep him this summer, especially if they do not win promotion.

It would be difficult for Portsmouth to win the race for Poku’s signature, but he would be an extremely exciting addition if a deal could be reached.

Karamoko Dembele

Dembele, another winger who should be on Portsmouth’s radar, had a fantastic season on loan at Blackpool in League One.

Dembele joined the Seasiders on loan from French club Brest in the summer, and he scored nine goals and provided 14 assists in 47 games across all competitions as Neil Critchley’s team barely lost out on the play-offs.

According to HITC, Everton, West Ham United, Fulham, Brentford, Wolves, Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Southampton, Leeds United, and Middlesbrough are all tracking Dembele ahead of the summer transfer season, thus Pompey will have stiff competition.

However, Portsmouth’s ability to provide Dembele with regular game time may give them an advantage, and the four players who spent time on loan at Fratton Park this season, Kamara, Alex Robertson, Tino Anjorin, and Myles Peart-Harris, all improved significantly under Mousinho’s guidance, which may help to persuade Dembele to join.

Macaulay Langstaff

Colby Bishop and Kusini Yengi were a prolific front-line tandem for Portsmouth this season, helping them win the title, but it remains to be seen how the pair will fare in the Championship.

Mousinho is expected to be looking to add more goals to his squad this summer, and one option to consider is Notts County striker Langstaff.

Langstaff joined Notts from Gateshead in the summer of 2022, and he scored 41 goals in 47 games across all competitions to help the Magpies win promotion from the National League through the play-offs last season.

There were doubts about Langstaff’s ability to reproduce his League Two form, but he proved them wrong this season, scoring 29 goals and giving four assists in 49 games for Notts County.

The Magpies managed to keep Langstaff in January despite reported interest from Birmingham City, Sunderland, Peterborough United, Derby County, Wrexham, and Hearts, but he could leave this summer after a disappointing second half of the season that saw them finish in mid-table.

Langstaff would be a risky signing for Pompey, but given how well he transitioned from the National League to League Two, it would be unsurprising to see him adapt to the Championship.

Sam Smith

If Langstaff is deemed too risky, Portsmouth may opt for Reading striker Smith instead.

Pompey were rumored to be interested in Smith after he left Cambridge United in the summer, but they decided not to make a move, and he returned to the Select Car Leasing Stadium for a second term.

Mousinho may have regretted not pursuing a trade for Smith, who went on to have an exceptional season, scoring 16 goals and assisting once in 37 games to help the Royals survive League One.

Smith was a bright spot for Reading during a difficult season, and they will be anxious to keep him this summer, but with the club’s ownership situation still unresolved, they risk losing some of their key players.

If Smith is available for a low amount, Portsmouth should renew their interest, and he might be a valuable addition to the forward line.

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