Like Leeds United, Portsmouth’s season ended in play-off disappointment. Leeds lost to Derby County in the Championship semi-finals, while Sunderland beat Portsmouth in the League One semi-finals.
But Portsmouth’s failure could present Championship clubs with the chance to poach two talented players. Matt Clarke and Jamal Lowe will be in demand this summer.
Leeds should look to poach both players as they aim to strengthen their squad for a promotion push next season. Both Clarke and Lowe would be good squad additions.
Clarke is a young defender but he has already played nearly 200 senior games. After coming through the ranks at Ipswich Town, he joined Portsmouth in 2016 after a successful loan.
The left-footed centre-back has been a rock for the south coast club. With over 150 games to his name, Clarke would leave with the 2018 Players’ Player award, the 2019 Player of the Year award, the League Two title and a Checkatrade Trophy under his belt.
But now it is time for the 22-year-old to test himself at a higher level. Clarke is a ball-playing yet physical central defender who could thrive in the Championship next year.
Leeds should also consider Lowe. The former Barnet winger ended the season with an impressive haul of 17 goals and nine assists. Pompey will struggle to hold onto the quick and skilful wide man.
It is time for Lowe to step up another division as well. The 24-year-old could be an asset for Leeds, providing depth in the wide areas.
These two players are young and on the way up in life. They could equip Marcelo Bielsa’s squad with strength in depth to compete for promotion by summer 2020.