Guy Whittingham has backed Adam Webster to establish himself as a central defender for Pompey.
The Blues boss has snapped up Sonny Bradley and Joe Devera to strengthen the options in the heart of his defence next season.
But Whittingham has also made it clear he sees Webster in the same role to rival the two newcomers.
Last term, the 18-year-old featured at right-back and left-back to provide crucial versatility to Pompey’s meagre squad.
The past year has also seen Webster break into the England under-19 set-up and the West Wittering youngster will be on duty on Friday night against Georgia.
In the meantime, Whittingham is looking at Webster becoming a mainstay of his long-term Pompey vision.
He said: ‘If Adam is going to be a centre-half in his career, he needs to start playing there so that is where we see him and where he will be playing.
‘I am not saying he is not going to be at left-back or right-back because there might be the occasion where we need him to play.
‘But, primarily, we want him to compete for a centre-half spot.
‘He is tall enough, he is ugly enough, he has to be brave and strong in that area because there are a lot of balls that come into that box in that league.
‘Adam is one of those who can also come out with the ball as a centre-half.
‘I think if you want to keep going up the leagues as soon as we possibly can and can justifiably do that, then he is somebody you want in your side.
‘That is his favoured position – it is time for him.
‘I think he’s got the quality to be a centre-half. We have got to see him in first-team action in this league.
‘Is he brave enough to put his head on everything, not be outmuscled and stand up to things? That is what he has got to get his head around.’
Webster will be joined by Jed Wallace as Noel Blake’s 18-strong England under-19 squad take on Georgia at the Breevenstadion in Belgium on Friday (5pm).
The young Three Lions will also face Belgium on Sunday (6pm) and Scotland on Wednesday, July 29 (6pm) in the European Championship qualifiers.
Only the nation topping the group will progress to the last eight, with the finals taking place in Lithuania from July 20 to August 1.
Meanwhile, Pompey are still hopeful of completing a move for a winger this week.
The player is from a League Two side and is out of contract this summer.
In addition, talks are ongoing with David Connolly and Johnny Ertl over their Fratton Park futures.
Connolly has been offered the chance to help with youth coaching in a bid to convince him to stay, while Ertl has recently finished three weeks backpacking in the Philippines and is now ready for talks.