Utaka Joins Montpellier

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 30 January 2011
John Utaka has signed for Ligue 1 side Montpellier on a two-and-a-half year contract for an undisclosed fee.

There is no "reported fee" but it's likely that Portsmouth have been paid less than £1 million for Utaka's services - a fraction of the £8 million paid by the club under Harry Redknapp's management in the summer of 2007.

Whilst most Pompey fans will hail this as good news, I can't help but think that this will only bring more trouble for Pompey.

The Nigerian has been one of Pompey's better performers this season. As much as he was disappointing in our Premier League era, he seemed to have found his level in the Championship and was a handful for many defenders.

He was just starting to find his goalscoring touch too, having scored twice in two games and he was the only player in the squad who could be effective when playing at left midfield. Who is going to play there now? Lawrence? De Laet?

I'm sure the fee paid by Montpellier will be leaked in the future too and I don't think it will be significant enough to make an impact on what Pompey have to pay to fulfill their CVA obligations this month.

I suppose any money is better than none at all, which is what it would have been come the summer. Utaka's exit will also see a significant deduction in the wage bill so the news is not all bad.

The bottom line is that John Utaka is probably the biggest flop in the history of Portsmouth Football Club. 13 goals in 115 appearances says it all and at a cost of £8 million including wages - his contribution to the club resulted in extremely poor value.

Au revoir, John. I don't think many Pompey fans are going to miss you.

Portsmouth Match Reports


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