Defender’s bound for Premier League

Conor Chaplin, left, and former Pompey team-mate Adam Webster  Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin, left, and former Pompey team-mate Adam Webster Picture: Joe Pepler
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ADAM WEBSTER has been backed to become a Premier League player.

Conor Chaplin admitted he’s missing his best pal, though, after he departed for Championship side Ipswich.

Webster is gearing up for a campaign in the second tier after a summer recovering from an ankle injury.

That’s after his move to Portman Road in a £700,000 deal with Matt Clarke moving in the other direction.

Webster has now picked up pre-season minutes in two games for Ipswich.

Chaplin has remained in close contact with his best pal since he left the club he’s spent his life at.

The 19-year-old rates his mate as the best player he’s played with, and he backed him to be a hit after stepping up two divisions.

Chaplin said: ‘I’ll miss Webbo. He’s my best mate.

‘I’ve got no doubt he’ll play in the Premier League.

‘He’s the best player I’ve played with.

‘If he goes to Ipswich and plays he’ll be a success.

‘If you see the games against Ipswich and Derby last season, he just looks so comfortable.

‘He’s a Rolls Royce the way he glides past people with ability, left foot and right foot.

‘He’s one of those players that when you see a striker go at them one v one you don’t think he’s getting beaten.

‘I know he won’t get beat. It would take something very special to do it.

‘He’s such a presence and so hard to get past.’

Chaplin highlighted how the margins between success and failure were tight for Webster at Pompey.

The 21-year-old had a season on loan at non-league Aldershot and then had limited playing time under Andy Awford in the 2014-15 season.

With his contract up, his Pompey future was in doubt until caretaker Gary Waddock gave him minutes after Awford departed.

That gave Webster the chance to shine and impress the incoming Paul Cook and earn a two-year deal.

Chaplin said: ‘Before the gaffer came in, he probably wouldn’t have got a contract if Gary Waddock hadn’t played him in those games. It probably saved him.

‘Football’s all about doing what you do, but there’s luck as well.’

Despite earning a deal with a Championship club, Chaplin felt Webster would still be a Pompey play if last season had ended in success.

He said ‘I wish him all the best. I’m so glad he’s got his move – he fully deserves it.

‘It’s sad we didn’t get promoted, because I think he’d have stayed.

‘He’s been here for nearly as long as I have, but I don’t think anyone could begrudge him the move. The fans understood that.’

– JORDAN CROSS