Two in, two out for Pompey
Portsmouth FC have announced the signings of two players albeit one on a loan deal. Marco van Ginkel has joined the South Coast club for a club record fee of £15.5m from Arsenal and also following van Ginkel out the exit door of The Gunners is Mario Pugilese who joins Pompey on a season long loan deal. Meanwhile, left back Graeme Shinnie and right back Mark Little have departed in a double deal to newly promoted Premier League side Everton, for a combined price of £2.2m.
Dutch midfielder van Ginkel, 24, has joined Pompey after seasons of outcast at Arsenal and previously Chelsea and is now looking for a club he can stay with for a long period of time. He was transfer listed by request after a lack of football at Arsenal, the club he signed for in 2015 for £10m from another London club in Chelsea. He only made 18 appearances in North London, scoring 4 goals. He did however make significantly less appearances at Chelsea, just 4 in fact after signing from his hometown club Vitesse Arnhem in 2013. At Chelsea he was expected to be a player of the future and after a year or two of development of Mourinho, it was thought that he would start to break into the first team however this never happened. Instead, what followed was two seasons of loan spells at Reading and then Stoke.
It’s fair to day that his career in English football has not really been much of a success but he is looking for a new lease of life at Pompey after breaking the club’s transfer record which previously stood at £11m for the transfer of Peter Crouch from Liverpool. £7.5m of the transfer fee paid by Pompey is admittedly being paid off over a period of 48 months nonetheless there will still be a high amount of expectation amongst Pompey fans, for van Ginkel to perform to the highest of standards. Pompey boss Joshua Hull though believes that van Ginkel will step up to the mark and become a key player for the club, “It’s a great capture for the club as he is a quality player who can help take the team to the next level. I am totally confident that he will step up to the mark and will perform at the highest of levels, becoming a key player for us this season and the forthcoming seasons.”
Another man who has made the switch from North London to the South Coast is Italian midfield wonderkid Mario Pugilese, just 21 years old, joining for the season on loan. He is highly regarded in England and amongst the Italian national side setup with his ability to pass the ball know to be one of his best attributes. After signing from Atlanta for £4.1m in 2013 and then being involved at Nottingham Forest on loan for two seasons, Pugilese will be looking to prove that despite still being young he is already starting to fulfill his potential by playing well at Pompey. Arsenal manager Leonid Slutskiy told Sky Sports that this loan move will hugely benefit Pugilese, “It’s going to be of huge benefit to him. He will have the chance to play a lot of games for a good side in the Champions League and will gain invaluable experience. Pompey will definitely look after him well and so will their manager who I respect a lot, Joshua.
Heading out of the exit door for Pompey is one time Scotland international left back Graeme Shinnie and English right back Mark Little. Both players were signed on free transfers in the summer of 2014 and 2015 from Inverness and Peterborough, respectively. Little was a key player in the club’s League 1 and Championship title winning campaigns whereas Shinnie was more of a squad player and back up option. However, both players have been loyal servants for the club during their spell and always gave their all n matter what. Everton have now added both players to their ranks for a combined fee of £2.2m, increasing the total incoming players this summer for the Merseyside club to 10 players.