Pompey Make First Summer Signing

Last updated : 07 June 2019 By Jim Bonner

James Bolton has signed for Pompey on a three-year-deal from Shrewsbury Town on a free transfer.

The 24-year-old right back will officially join the Blues on July 1st when his contract with the Shrews expires and is likely to replace Nathan Thompson who won't sign a new deal at Fratton Park.

It's difficult to judge a player you've rarely seen but Bolton did score against Pompey last season at Fratton Park in a 1-0 win where Craig MacGillivray was man of the match. Hopefully this signing is as shrewd as when the second-choice Salop keeper was snapped up by Kenny Jackett last summer.

Shrewsbury fans have described Bolton as a solid, dependable performer who will give 7/10 every game and will also support the attack. He seems like another player in the Lee Brown mould only with younger legs. Hopefully he'll prove to be more than that next season.

Bolton's arrival means that Nathan Thompson will be leaving and that is a significant loss for Pompey. He was a solid performer during his two years at Fratton and his ability to win cheap free kicks thanks to his "Thompson Tumble" will be missed.

However, the better wingers in the division roasted him. Aiden McGeady, Graham Carey and Cauley Woodrow in particular gave him nightmares and if he struggles to deal with the best League One wingers, how would he cope in the Championship?

Should he make the step up it'll likely be with a team destined to struggle next season. Perhaps Reading or QPR will be his destination? We should wish him all the best if/when he goes but if Pompey do get promoted next season then they would have needed a better right back than Thompson anyway, but is Bolton the answer?

In other transfer news, Marc Pugh of Bournemough has been heavily linked with a move to Pompey on social media but unlike other bullshit rumours, this one seems to have legs.

The 32-year-old winger spent this season on loan at Hull and would be an excellent addition to the squad. He's proven quality at a higher level and would surely make a huge impact on the team if he can stay fit.

Finally, it seems some Pompey fans are getting restless at the fact that no money has been spent or even been rumoured to be spent on any player in the transfer window so far.

Firstly, these fans need to get a grip as it's only early June and there won't be any big moves in the transfer market until Matt Clarke is sold and that could well take its time as a bidding war inflates his asking price.

And secondly, some of Pompey's best signings in recent years have been freebies or have cost pittance. Craig MacGillivray, Tom Naylor, Gareth Evans and Jamal Lowe were all absolute bargains and should the latter leave this summer, Pompey will have made a hell of a profit on him.

Here's hoping he stays, however, as replacing Lowe's goals and assists will be much more difficult than replacing Clarke's performances as centre back and the current squad needs some quality additions to be challenging for automatic promotion next season as it is.

But there's still plenty of time to make those additions so there's no need to panic!