Suddenly Pompey's revolving door is spinning
Saturday, 22nd Jun 2019 11:47 by pompey-fans.com staff
One out - two in. It was the longest time and that gave Pompey time to complete three deals as the summer transfer window suddenly got busy for the Blues.
The departure was no surprise - the arrivals perhaps were, even if both were names who had already been talked of as potential recruits by Kenny Jackett as he plots his third Fratton campaign as boss.
Clarke has, as expected, joined Brighton for an undisclosed fee. It's thought to be between £3m and £4m, with add-ons set to increase the total in time.
The 22-year-old made 175 appearances in four seasons with the Blues and very rarely missed a game through injury.
A Pompey statement said: 'Everyone at Portsmouth Football Club appreciates the role Matt has played during his time with the club. We are pleased he has been given a deserved opportunity to test himself at the highest level and wish him well for the next stage of his career.'
Coming in the other direction were two players - Ellis Harrison and Paul Downing.
Striker Harrison, 25, recruited from Ipswich, was the club’s second signing of the summer after defender James Bolton joined from Shrewsbury.
Harrison told the Pompey website: 'Coming here is a no-brainer. I’ve got a manager who trusts me and has put his full faith in me, so I want to repay that. I’m very confident in my own ability and now it’s up to me to prove that on a Saturday. I don’t feel like I’ve hit my peak yet and there’s more to come.
'I didn’t really get going at Ipswich and show my full potential, but I was hindered by injury a lot of the time. Now I’m looking to really push on with Pompey next season and show everyone exactly what I can do.
'I remember playing at Fratton Park and it was very loud. I was trying to shout to the boys and they couldn’t hear me. Having those fans behind you – you can’t really ask for much more. It’s a new start for me and hopefully we can be pushing to get into the Championship, which is where the club deserves to be.'
Joining him as a new face in the dressing room is defender Downing, who arrives on a free transfer after leaving Blackburn at the end of last season.
The 27-year-old told www.portsmouthfc.co.uk: 'I obviously can’t wait to get started – I’m looking forward to meeting the lads next week and get cracking with pre-season. I’d like to have a bit of stability in my career and hopefully I can settle in, find a home here and achieve something special.
'The sheer size of Pompey made me want to sign. This is a club with ambition that wants to get out of the division. I also want to play at the highest level possible and I know the manager has a good record of winning promotion, so it ticks all the boxes.
'I know what it takes to be around the top at this level, so hopefully I can help this club get where it wants to be. It’s a pretty unique ground, with plenty of tradition. It’s usually a full house and that’s why the noise is so good.
'Things like making my debut at Fratton Park and scoring my first goal at the home end are going to be fantastic.'