|Posted by Pompeyexile on January 4, 2013 at 5:50 PM|
January overhaul Friday, 04/01/2013 by James Shipp, Shoot's Pompey blogger
The January Sales have begun. And at the Portsmouth, there are plenty of bargains to be had.
For most, the winter transfer window is an exciting one, a time where a squad can be vastly improved or simply fine tuned. For Pompey however, there could be a complete overhaul.
Every single contract expires this month, which begs the question, what team will interim manager Guy Whittingham actually be able to field come February?
Striker Izale McLeod has already left, returning to MK Dons where he still holds the record of being their greatest ever goalscorer.
Despite hitting 11 goals this season, the attitude of the former Barnet man had been questionable and it's safe to say many of the Fratton faithful are not sorry to see him go.
He's been replaced by former Southampton forward David Connolly. His past does him no favours, but the Blue Army won't pass judgement on a player until he's given a chance.
His debut wasn't in the best of circumstances though, coming on against Swindon when it was 1-0 to the Robins, before the score eventually ended up 5-0 to the hosts.
Arguably Pompey's most talented player probably won't be around for much longer either. Scott Allan's loan from West Brom is due to expire and it's obvious he is far too good for League One, if a Championship side comes calling, he won't be returning.
Whittingham's options will be few and far between, players who have impressed such as Mustapha Dumbuya will be catching the eye of others, and with his deal up in less than a fortnight, he could be on his way too.
Obviously there will be a select few that remain on the South-Coast. Goalkeeper Simon Eastwood has impressed since making the No.1 spot his own, and he will stay along with his deputy shot-stopper Phil Smith. As will defenders Jon Harley, Ricardo Rocha, Lubomir Michalik and Johnny Ertl.
Midfielder Lee Williamson has also said he wants to stick it out at Fratton Park, whilst you imagine he'll be joined by Darel Russell and Liam Walker. Youngsters Ashley Harris and Adam Webster have both already signed professional contracts so there is no doubt about their futures.
However, question marks still hang over a few players. On-loan hitman Paul Benson has been attracting the attention of numerous teams, including Bradford, but he does seem keen to stay.
The same assurance can't be said of defender Gabor Gyepes, who revealed before Christmas he was homesick and would seriously consider his future. However, he's not told Whittingham he plans to leave, so at the moment, his contract will be continued.
Another borrowed quantity, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing could return to Peterborough, whereas what happens to captain Brian Howard remains to be seen. The skipper just hasn't done it this campaign, and should a club come in for him, both parties would probably welcome the move.
Whatever happens over the weeks to come, it's safe to say the constant instability will not help matters on the pitch.
It's looking increasingly like relegation to League Two for the Blues, languishing in the bottom four with a -10 points deduction to come.
But given all the financial problems, it's to be expected. After all, the playing staff may completely change, but at least there's still a club left to play for.
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