Exit Stage Right

Last updated : 23 July 2007 By Jim Bonner
Harry Redknapp has said that to bring another player or two in, then he'll have to reduce the size of the current squad. So which Pompey players will no longer be wearing the Royal Blue come September?

Andy Griffin

The Griff back has been as professional as ever and returned to training with the rest of the squad despite the thoughts that he would almost certainly be joining Stoke City permanently. However, it now looks like he will be signing for Derby County as the gritty, but limited right back has been holding talks at Pride Park. So he could well be lining up against his former employers on the opening day...

Andy O'Brien

The Irishman is highly unlikely to remain at Fratton Park with opportunities minimal. Derby have been rumoured to be interested in him but having signed Andy Todd and Claude Davis already that news is probably rubbish. O'Brien was close to joining Manchester City last January but that won't go ahead now that Sven "Boring" Eriksson is in charge though Birmingham and Hull are the most recent links.

Collins Mbesuma

It's been reported by the official site that "Suma MBE" is currently in talks with a Turkish club. It's unlikely that a club the size of Fenerbahce, Galatasaray or Besiktas would come in for him so my completely random guess is that he'll end up joining Trabzonspor (yes, they are a real club!)

We expected so much from the Zambian striker, but his race for fitness soon turned out to be a joke much like the signing itself.

Andrew Cole

The former England striker has not travelled to Hong Kong with the rest of the squad and so it looks like he'll be moving very soon after becoming surplus to requirements. Birmingham had him on loan last season and may be a club that'll want him despite signing Mido last week whilst Hull City and even Nottingham Forest have been linked. Whatever happens it's highly doubtful he will be a Pompey player come August.

Richard Duffy

I believe that time is running out on Duffy. After signing for us in 2004 the Welsh international hasn't been able to force himself into the side and has been sent out on loan to the likes of Burnley, Coventry and Swansea. He had lots of potential when we signed him and I thought he'd come good but having watched him last season he does not look like a Premier League player.

Considering we've just brought in Cranie and have Lauren and Pamarot who can play at right back I doubt Duffy will be here much longer and I expect a Championship side will have him. Like Southampton perhaps?

Franck Songo'o

The French winger shows plenty of potential in the friendlies against non-league opposition but needs to step it up a gear or two if he even wants to come close to breaking into the first team. I expect he'll be shipped out on loan again this season, probably to a Championship club like Coventry.

Lomana LuaLua

I covered this in an article I wrote on Thursday though the rumours of training ground bust-ups, transfer requests and moves to Spain will not go away. The sad thing is that if, or when he does leave Pompey then nobody will miss him.

Sol Campbell

Newspaper reports have been linking him with a move away but Harry has once again insisted that he's going nowhere and that other clubs should keep their hands off. I can't see Sol going anywhere this season but when he's out of contract we'll need to do everything we can to get him signed up again.

Matthew Taylor

Whilst I laughed off the "news" that Everton had put in a bid of £8 million for Matty Taylor I still a slight feeling that we could lose him this summer. Out of all the Pompey players in the squad who I think we'd miss if we lost, Taylor is the name that sticks out as all of our other key players I just can't see leaving.

Taylor still has 3 years to run on his contract and he seems to love playing for Pompey. However I think he might leave if either one of the big four come in for him or a bid in excess of £10 million tempts the club to cash in. It's only a small gut feeling that he'll depart and isn't based on any real solid speculation, so don't panic!

Assuming Taylor & Campbell stay and Kanu signs as expected, getting rid of the other names above would remove all of the "dead wood" from the club and would mean the squad would be comprised of 3 goalkeepers, 8 defenders, 8 midfielders but only 3 strikers (totalling 24 players). That's a good number bar the striking department but I expect Harry will sort that out in the future.