Pennant joins Portsmouth on loan
Tuesday 20 January 2009
Winger Jermaine Pennant has agreed to join Portsmouth on loan from Liverpool until the end of the season.
Pennant was expected to move to Pompey last week, after the clubs agreed terms for a player signed by the Reds for £6.7m from Birmingham in July 2006.
The 26-year-old was subsequently reported to prefer to stay at Anfield, but Portsmouth today revealed on their official website www.portsmouthfc.co.uk that they have got their man after all.
Manager Tony Adams explained Pennant, with whom the former England defender played at Arsenal, fits the bill perfectly at Fratton Park.
"I've known him for a long time," said Adams.
"We were together at Arsenal a long, long time ago. He was the new kid on the block and a very exciting prospect."
It was what Adams saw all those years ago at Highbury - as well as Pennant's exploits more recently with current Pompey forward Peter Crouch when both were at Liverpool - that has convinced the manager he has signed a very good addition to his squad.
"He's quick and technically very gifted. He can have a go at defenders," Adams continued.
"I saw him play with Peter Crouch for Liverpool at Fulham last year - and he was constantly getting past their left-back and getting crosses in for Crouchie.
"That's a good combination that I wanted to put back together.
"He's going to put some good crosses in and, I hope, weigh in with a few goals himself."
Pennant will find himself joining a relegation battle, however, according to his new team-mate Sylvain Distin.
Pompey earned a 1-1 draw at Tottenham with a much-improved performance on Sunday and have now conceded only two goals in their last four games.
But defender Distin insists they are already in trouble, with only three Barclays Premier League points separating them and bottom side West Brom.
"We are in a relegation battle right now. It's not an enjoyable position," he said.
"We will be okay if we play like we did at Spurs. But right now we are in a relegation battle. There is no point crying about it - we have to fight.
"We have to work hard together to get out of this position. I've never known a league like it. It's amazing. With two good results you are in the top eight, and two bad results we are in the bottom three. We have to be consistent to turn things around.
"We can't afford to think we are in a game when a point would be good. We need points. That is the situation we are in - and we need to turn it around.
"We need to stick by the team and fight."
Meanwhile, Pompey executive chairman Peter Storrie has revealed a potential move for former Arsenal star Patrick Vieira has been scuppered by an injury to the player - while moves to sign Middlesbrough's Gary O'Neil and Edu from Valencia are now over.
"Patrick is someone we would be very keen to bring here," said Storrie.
"Obviously, he is very well known to Tony, but my understanding is that he's got an injury and that won't be possible in this window.
"With Gary O'Neil and Edu, the clubs changed their mind - there wasn't much we could do about that. As far as I understand, both of those deals are now dead."
However, Danish international Christian Poulsen could be heading to Fratton Park on a loan deal until the end of the season.
Pompey have reportedly agreed a deal with Juventus for the Danish international - although Poulsen's agent Joern Bonnesen today played down the chances of a move, telling Italian reporters: "Christian has no intention to leave Turin."
The midfielder would arrive on a temporary deal with the option of sealing a £5million permanent agreement.
Poulsen, 28, was a success in Spain with Sevilla last season but has failed to make an impact in Serie A - largely because of injury - and has played only eight times for Juventus this season.
Poulsen has won 60 caps for his country and scored four goals.
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