Pompey’s top scorer, Erik Huseklepp, today departed to join Championship rivals Birmingham City as the financially troubled South-Coast club attempted to free up some wages, but Pompey replaced the Viking with a loan move for West Brom midfielder Scott Allan.
The Norwegian international was brought to the club by Steve Cotterill following CSI’s takeover and spending spree during the summer, costing the club around £1.5m, signing from Italian club Bari.
Huseklepp made his very brief Pompey debut as a second-half substitute away at Bristol City, replacing Liam Lawrence for the final five minutes, but injected pace in to the side straight away.
Erik the Viking, he was fondly nicknamed by the Pompey fans, scored his first Pompey goal four games later in great fashion – a 93rd minute winner against Blackpool, and what a stunning volley it was.
PHOTO: Erik Huseklepp celebrates his first goal at Blackpool
He’s made 28 appearances in all competitions for Pompey this season, with six goals to his name he is Pompey’s leading scorer, but whilst the energetic winger-come-striker is an influential player and a key part of Pompey’s starting line-up, he also takes up a good chunk of the wage bill that the Blues are trying to slash drastically.
Although he isn’t the top earner (thought to be Tal Ben-Haim), Huseklepp’s deal was agreed during the summer when the club expected to have a new found wealth under the CSI ownership so is thought to be in the region of around £30,000-per-week.
Huseklepp told the Birmingham City FC Official Website that he was said to leave Pompey: “It was with a heavy heart that I left Portsmouth because they treated me fantastically and the fans were great with me.
“But the club came to me with this and said that they needed me to leave because of the financial difficulties they are in.”
The Viking now joins Birmingham on-loan until the end of the season, with an option to extend it to the play-offs if Birmingham need him. It is thought there is also an option to buy the forward at the end of the season.