Wilson’s Wisdom: League Two reality raises Wallace questions

Jed Wallace   Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace Picture: Joe Pepler

Let’s face it.

Unless something amazing happens, Pompey will be playing in League Two again next season.

It’s now so unlikely that a Pompey promotion will occur, that the second coming of Elvis might be pushed further down the news agenda.

Of course, a TV presenter leaving Top Gear would obviously continue to dominate the headlines though.

Before the Shrewsbury game, bookies were offering odds of 100/1 for Pompey to go up, which looks about right to me.

So it’s only natural thoughts begin to turn to how things will change for next season.

And one of the burning issues will be whether Jed Wallace stays at the club.

The midfielder turned 21 earlier this week and before the Shrewsbury game had 14 goals to his name in all competitions.

He’s been one of the highlights of the season.

Wallace has made a huge improvement this season – most notably in his consistency – and he appears to have the ambition, drive and potential to play at a higher level.

He’d probably love to stick around and do that at Fratton Park but a football career is a short one and sometimes emotion must be separated from these types of decisions.

Several other clubs are believed to be interested in signing him with Wolves apparently at the head of the queue, while there are probably other suitors who haven’t shown their hand just yet.

The player himself hasn’t given much away, other than to suggest he is happy at Pompey whenever he is asked.

He certainly isn’t playing like someone whose mind is set on going elsewhere.

The manager hasn’t given any indication a deal is on the table or that the club is even ready to listen to offers.

But if I had to choose – and much as it pains me to admit it – I’d guess Wallace won’t be here next season.

As hard as it is to accept for those of us who only have an affinity for one professional club, there is a big, wide world beyond Fratton Park.

But if he must go, then Pompey at least need to get the right fee.

Suggestions he might go for more than £1m seem ambitious but perhaps something close to £500,000 would be more likely.

Of course, it wouldn’t be easy to replace his goals or ability and it may require either a new recruit being found or a tweak to the current system.

Perhaps a fully-fit Wes Fogden could occupy the same role?

Or could the transfer fee be given back to the manager to strengthen in other areas?

But it doesn’t always instantly tally up that the loss of a club’s best player is always a negative.

Cast your minds back to Darren Anderton’s departure to Spurs back in 1992, seen as a major blow at the time.

A real talent with a huge future who outgrew Pompey.

But Anderton left, Paul Walsh arrived as part of the deal and Pompey looked a better side.

If he goes, we’d all wish him luck, thank him for his efforts and miss him being around but life at Pompey would go on without him.