Blackburn Rovers have ‘big plans’ for Hayden Carter next season after successful loan spells with Burton Albion and Portsmouth.
That was the view of Portsmouth chief Andy Cullen, who previously reiterated his hopes of signing the defender permanently. After this latest admission, it looks like Carter is going to stay at Ewood Park.
In truth, sanctioning a permanent agreement would have made no sense. Carter is 22 and feels ready for Championship football, with two years remaining on his contract.
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With a new manager on the way, he will have a chance to impress in pre-season after passing his Ligue 1 test. Within six months he has become an instant favorite of the Fratton Park crowd and manager Danny Cowley.
To find out more about his time in Portsmouth, we spoke to Hampshire Live’s recently deceased Portsmouth journalist Jonty Colman.
Portsmouth fans loved him at Fratton Park, what made him a fan base so quickly?
His quality and his speed of adaptation to the style of play of Danny Cowley. Due to injuries, suspensions and inconsistencies, Pompey cut and changed systems a bit and when they used a back three, which became the norm all the more so in the second half of the season, someone one to play on the right of the three centre-backs. was needed. Carter filled that role very comfortably, having thrived in a similar role at Burton Albion earlier in the season. He wins tackles and is so technically gifted, both with his passing and his movement. He can be built like a centre-back, but sometimes his movement is more reminiscent of a winger.
What are the best parts of his skill set?
Versatility was a plus. As mentioned, he was solid defensively, but on several occasions he played as a right-back in a back four and performed well there. Very eager to push forward, overlap and attack like a modern day defender. He also has a long shot in him, scoring a long-range screamer against Oxford and coming close on numerous other occasions. He was also one of Pompey’s best crossers last season.
Do you think he is ready for the football championship next season?
Without a doubt. He was very quick to see that with a full season under his belt he should play much higher than League One. So composed and assured and just really integrated with no hassle or phase-in period. If he is available for Ligue 1 clubs next season, Pompey will no doubt be eager to snap him up to some extent.
Are there any weaknesses he can develop and improve?
There were one or two individual errors leading to goals against Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland, although the penalty he gave Bolton might have been a bit harsh. No glaring mistakes, although if he is to stay as a centre-back for his career he is much better at a back three or a right back at a back four. He struggled in a back four in a loss to Cheltenham Town in the latter stages of the campaign.
Did he look more comfortable in a three-man or four-man defense?
The right side of a back three was definitely his best position, but he can also more than defend in a back four. However, he is more suited to play at right-back than centre-back in a back-four.