Blues’ World Cup Stars: They may stay but will they play?By: Mark | August 1st, 2010
So the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa is well and truly over now- the dust has settled, and those who represented Portsmouth on the biggest stage in world football have returned to the club. But for how long?
The likes of Nadir Belhadj and Hassan Yebda have already exited from Fratton Park, signing for Qatar-side Al Sadd and returning to parent club Benfica respectively, and the four other players who represented Pompey this summer have returned with big question marks over their futures.
And if yesterday’s friendly versus Fulham was anything to go by then Nigerian duo Kanu and John Utaka seem most likely to stay. Utaka has been talked about in Sunderland and Rangers circles- and has also been praised by Bolton boss Owen Coyle who then ruled out a bid for the pacey front man.
And Kanu was said to have agreed a one-year extension at the same time as Herman Hreidarsson at the end of last season but still no official update on his future.
Kevin Pricne Boateng’s World Cup performance did Pompey a favour (See video below to relive his fine tournament) but the club are showing some refreshing resolve by holding out for his true value as one of Pompey’s last few remaining assets.
And Aaron Mokoena has the air of a loyal player- captaining the side on many occasions last season, it could be head versus heart time for the South African. Or is it merely down to a lack of exterior interest?
Boss Steve Cotterill has said that if he has the current squad for the start of the season in six days time he’ll be happy- but even if the International quartet were to stay- after being touted as surefire bets to leave the club would they still give 100% to the cause? Some would say flair players such as Boateng, Utaka and Kanu had work rates susceptible to events- such as Boateng after his FA Cup final penalty miss.
Their futures and their stories with Pompey remain to be concluded- and could well hold they to the season for the Blues.