Padovani potential is limitless for Pompey

Pompey assistant manager Steve Allen Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey assistant manager Steve Allen Picture: Joe Pepler

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Romain Padovani possesses the potential to ‘be anything’ in football.

That’s the verdict of Steve Allen, who is convinced Pompey may have unearthed a gem in their summer recruit.

The French midfielder last month penned a two-year Blues deal following his release from Monaco.

It took just one training session to convince manager Guy Whittingham to snap him up on a free transfer.

For Pompey fans, though, Padovani is an unknown quantity ahead of the start of pre-season training at the end of next week.

But Blues’ assistant manager Allen believes the Fratton faithful will be excited by the presence of a player he feels can make a big impact in this country.

Allen said: ‘Romain could knock everybody for six. I definitely think he could excite the fans. I am excited about him, myself.

‘The potential of this lad could be anything. He is 6ft 3in, aged 23, very fit, very strong and has bundles of potential.

‘With boys from France, sometimes they might need a bit of time to adjust to the English game. Sometimes they don’t. Occasionally, though, it’s about putting your head above the parapet and we have with Romain.

‘We are very excited about the potential he has shown – but he needs to fulfil that.

‘Technically, he has more than enough to cope with League Two football.

‘Certainly, he looks like he has got the lot and could go on and play at another level.

‘In football you get triallists and sometimes, like this one, they smack you right in the face.’

It’s Allen’s relationship with Yassin Moutaouakil and his agent which resulted in Padovani coming to Pompey on trial.

The 23-year-old was aware of his impending release by Monaco when he arrived at Blues training in April.

Although with the newly-promoted Ligue 1 club for the past five years, Padovani had managed to feature only for their second team.

Such was his trial display with Pompey, even the players were asking Whittingham to get him signed.

Padovani subsequently turned down French lower division side Niort in favour of a switch to Fratton Park.

And for Allen, it was a no-brainer to snap him up.

He added: ‘Romain had been at Leyton Orient on trial for three or four days and they wanted him to go back but I know his agent. So we also had the chance to look at him.

‘He trained with us on the Thursday. They did a functional session, then smaller-sided game sessions.

‘While the game was going on, the more I saw of Romain I thought “he’s a player”.

‘I walked around to Guy and it turned out he was thinking the same thing.

‘Patrick Agyemang was leaning on a goalpost singing “sign him up, sign him up”.

‘Others were asking who this new lad was. He had made quite an impression.’