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Portsmouth’s 5 most expensive signings from 2010 to 2020 – where are they now?

Since Portsmouth fell out of the Premier League, they have not able to sign big names costing millions like Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Sulley Muntari.

Instead, while languishing in the lower leagues, more modest amounts have been spent.

That pattern will be more than likely to continue this summer under Danny Cowley, who will have to use the free transfer market and loan deals smartly to strengthen.

Here, we look at the 5 most expensive Portsmouth signings since 2010.

Erik Huseklepp – £2m

Signed from Bari in August 2011, Huseklepp quickly became a fan favourite after his £2m (Transfermarkt) move to Portsmouth.

However, with Pompey facing administration only months later, Huseklepp was forced to accept a loan to Birmingham City to reduce the wage bill. After the loan expired and Pompey were relegated to League One he was sold to Brann in Norway.

He remained in the Norwegian league until he retired in 2021, aged 37.

John Marquis – £1m

Having significant fees for Matt Clarke and Jamal Lowe, Portsmouth spent seven figures for the first time in a decade.

Portsmouth signed Marquis for £1m (Transfermarkt) with the hope that his second spell at the club would be more successful than his loan back in 2013, which yielded one goal.

During his two-and-a-half-year stay, Marquis managed 36 goals in 121 appearances. Although this might look good, sections of the fanbase saw his long goal droughts and poor performances as a reason the club failed to mount a serious challenge for the League One title. Danny Cowley seemed to agree and allowed Marquis to join Lincoln City for a minimal fee in January 2022.

At the end of the 2021/22 season, he left the Imps after failing to agree a new deal and he will become free agent.

Greg Halford – £1m

Arriving on loan from Millwall in October 2010, Halford enjoyed a successful season on the south coast, playing 33 times.

This prompted the Blues to spend a reported £1m in July 2011 to make his stay permanent. Halford went on to add an additional 44 appearances and managed seven goals that season but was unable to stop Portsmouth being relegated to League One.

With Pompey facing extinction in the summer of 2012, along with all other players of any value, Halford was quickly sold, in his case to Nottingham Forest for an undisclosed fee. Since his time on the south coast, he remained in the championship with clubs like Rotherham United and Cardiff City before a move to Aberdeen in 2019.

He currently plays for Billericay Town in National League South aged 37.

Luke Varney – £850,000

After signing from Derby County in July 2011 for £850,000 (Transfermarkt), Varney played 31 matches and scored six goals in a solitary season for Pompey in the infamous 2011/12 campaign.

This saw Portsmouth suffer a second relegation and administration period in three years. Sold in the following fire sale, Varney joined Leeds United on the cheap. Since then, he has played for six other clubs in all three tiers of the EFL and after a spell in the United Counties League with Quorn AFC, retired in November 2021.

Ellis Harrison – £450,000

Another signing from the Matt Clarke windfall, Harrison arrived from Ipswich Town for £450,000 after an injury-ridden season in the Championship.

Harrison was tasked with firing Portsmouth into the Championship alongside Marquis. Ultimately, with a goal return of just 20 over two-and-a-half years and 84 appearances, the popular hitman has to be viewed as a signing that failed to live up to expectations. In January 2022, he signed for Fleetwood Town and scored on his debut against Doncaster Rovers.

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