Portsmouth could be heading for a disaster as former midfielder David Norris says he expects Ronan Curtis to depart the club this summer.
Ex-Portsmouth player Norris has admitted that Curtis will likely want to play at the highest possible level and that could lead to him leaving the club to join a Championship side. He told Football League World:
“The player’s probably eventually going to want to move on and probably earn more money and play as high as he can.
“And then, at the same time, he’s not walking away on a free so the club can bring in some decent money.”
After missing out on promotion from League One this season, it is crucial for Portsmouth to retain as many of their best players as possible for another push next term, with Curtis being one of them.
Curtis was a revelation for Portsmouth in League One, producing 10 goals and seven assists in 36 starts. He added a further four goals and three assists to his overall tally in the various cup competition throughout the campaign, taking him to 14 goals and 10 assists in the 2020/21 season.
His creativity could prove incredibly difficult to replace in the transfer window if he were to depart. Curtis created 1.5 chances per game in League One, the most by any player in the Portsmouth squad, and that is alongside his 10 strikes – second to John Marquis.
Earlier this season, Cowley claimed that the “brilliant” Curtis is going to become a top player if he can control his emotions on the pitch. He told The News:
“There’s a lot of work to do on that because he’s going to be a top player – and to become a top player you must always be in emotional control otherwise the opponent is going to see that as a weakness and try to exploit that.
“The higher level you go, the more emotional it is and the more you’ve got to show control.
“We are working really hard with Ronan. He is so willing and keen to want to improve in that area and he was brilliant on Saturday.”
The £3.7k-per-week attacker averaged an exceptional WhoScored rating of 7.10 for Portsmouth. This was the highest average score by any player in the Pompey squad, with centre-back Sean Raggett the only other player over the 7.0 mark on 7.02. Curtis’ goal contributions and overall performances, therefore, were key for Portsmouth as they just missed out on a place in the play-offs – finishing eighth in League One.
This suggests that keeping hold of Curtis could prove key as his displays in the third tier, coupled with Cowley improving the squad in other areas, could allow Portsmouth to challenge for promotion.
He has already shown that he can be a quality option at League One level and selling him could weaken Pompey’s chances of going up and failire to get promoted next season could be a huge disaster for a club the size of Portsmouth.