Jamie O’Hara’s immediate future is unclear; the midfielder is currently on loan at Portsmouth from Tottenham but that deal is scheduled to end in January. The option to extend the deal until the end of the season exists but it is Tottenham’s decision whether or not to allow it.
As far as Portsmouth are concerned, they would like to keep O’Hara for as long as possible. Avram Grant has already made it known to Harry Redknapp that if possible he would like to retain the services of the player for the duration of the season. In a season where Portsmouth will struggle to avoid relegation, players with the determination and quality of O’Hara are vital. He shows a real fighting spirit on the pitch and his performances can lift those around him and make the whole team play better.
Tottenham meanwhile certainly see O’Hara as part of their long-term plans; he signed a new deal with the club in August before moving to Portsmouth. Presently there are a number of players ahead of O’Hara in the pecking order; Krankjar and Modric are preferred on the left of midfield, and Palacios, Huddlestone and Jenas are all likely to be chosen ahead of O’Hara right now. Despite this, the recent injury to Palacios may mean that O’Hara is needed to provide cover in the squad, especially when Beniot Assou-Ekotto and Sebastien Bassong leave for the African Cup of Nations as O’Hara can also play at left-back in an emergency.
The player himself has indicated a willingness to stay at Portsmouth and help them fight off relegation this season. He has been one of their more consistent players thus far and at 23, he is enjoying the chance to play regular first-team football. A return to Tottenham is likely to see a drastic reduction in his playing time and it would be better
For O’Hara, a prolonged stay at Portsmouth would probably be for the best (provided they can pay him), the experience of regular first-team football and of a relegation battle will be invaluable in his future career. A return to Tottenham right now would be a step backwards as he would find himself on the bench given the depth of their squad in his position. It may even be the case that his long-term future lies away from White Hart Lane; as Spurs are looking to progress to the Champions League, experienced quality players will be ahead of him the pecking order.