Is Glen Gonna Go?
Johnno has told the press today that there have been no offers for him and he is dismissing the speculation about his future to focus on England's upcoming World Cup qualifier against Andorra.
Furthermore, the England right back acknowledged that he is England's first choice right back because he is playing regularly for Pompey. The most heartening quote from our point of view was when he said: "As far as I'm concerned I'm a Portsmouth player and I will be."
However, the attraction of Champions League football, a better salary and playing for a high profile club is hard to resist for any player, let alone an England international. So, will he go? This is how I see it:
Why Johnson will go
- Footballers have relatively short careers and even though Glen is only 24, the opportunity to play for a huge club and win the biggest trophies in football doesn't come around too often and so this may be the perfect time for him to advance his career.
- After his tough time at Stamford Bridge Glen might have point to prove to his doubters that believe he can't play at the highest level. He didn't have a great game against Kazakhstan and so there are plenty of critics he'd have the opportunity to silence if he were to re-sign for Chelsea or go to Anfield.
- Despite our soon-to-be new found wealth I'd expect Chelsea or Liverpool to offer Johnson a bigger wage than the one he is currently receiving. I'd doubt Al-Fahim would be willing to offer Glen a new deal after he only recently signed a new one January.
Why Johnson will stay
- As he said himself, playing regularly at Pompey has put him firmly in contention to start the World Cup and with the tournament coming up it would be silly to join Chelsea where Bosingwa would provide strong competition for his place or even Liverpool where he'd have to deal with "Rotating Rafa" despite being clearly better than Arbeloa.
- He recently (and rather susprisingly) signed a four-and-a-half year deal which suggests to me that he actually enjoys playing for us. He said in the interview with the press that Pompey "brought the love back".
- The majority of Pompey fans think he is brilliant and admire how he has matured since the infamous "B & Q" incident. I don't think Johnson is motivated too much by money either, as otherwise he surely would have stayed at Chelsea all those years back, sat on the bench and collected his paycheque rather than joining us on loan.
- He may want to stay and see what Sulaiman Al-Fahim has in store for the club before he even thinks about moving. Maybe his ambition can convince him to stay if he is thinking about joining a club in the Champions League.
I honestly think that Johnson will stay and his latest comments have reinforced my belief that will be at Fratton Park come the end of August. I wouldn't begrudge him a move to a massive club but it would be better for him (and indeed for us) if he stayed at least another year.