Three of Portsmouth’s first-choice XI will be jetting out to Ghana next month for the African Nations Cup, with Harry Redknapp acknowledging that investment in new players is vital if his team are to finish in the top six of the Premier League.
John Utaka, Sulley Muntari and Papa Bouba Diop have all played a key role in ensuring Pompey currently sit in 6th place, with Kanu also an important squad player for the South Coast club.
“We do need to try to find maybe another three or four players from somewhere if we can because we need to fill the squad up,” Redknapp said. “We lose two midfield players, a wide player and a front man and they are all with teams that are not exactly weak teams in the African Nations and will go a long way. We haven’t got 19 or 20-year-olds here that I could bring in and we can’t go with just 14 players. It’s not going to work.”
Does this mean that David Nugent will finally be given a run of games to demonstrate he’s good enough to play in the top flight? It will clearly be difficult for Redknapp to find suitable replacements, especially in the centre of midfield where Muntari and Diop have been rocks. While the Pompey defence has been receiving plenty of plaudits for their run of clean sheets, one mustn’t forget the shield that protects them.