Whittingham: Even my own players told me to snap up Padovani

Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler

IT IS the signing which has largely crept under the radar during the flood of new arrivals.

Nonetheless, Guy Whittingham has admitted he was under instruction to sign Romain Padovani – from his own players.

The Blues manager saw enough of the Frenchman in one hour to convince him he wanted to sign the player.

An eye-catching display from the midfielder as a triallist was key.

Such was his impact, Whittingham revealed even fellow players were urging him to snap up the soon-to-be free agent.

As a result, Padovani was one of the first of his summer recruits to arrive in what is continuing to be a busy recruitment period.

Little is known about the 23-year-old but Pompey’s boss has seen enough to convince him of his talents.

Whittingham said: ‘Yassin Moutaouakil’s agent asked if he could bring Romain in for us to have a look at as he was going to be released by Monaco.

‘Obviously, with Monaco you have a good breeding, even though they are in the second division at the moment.

‘We saw him in training for an hour and there was something there we liked.

‘And when some of the more senior players start asking who he is and start whispering under their breath “sign him up” you know the players saw something there as well.

‘It’s encouraging we have been able to get him.

‘With triallists, you can see pretty much within an hour what they are going to be like.

‘It depends obviously what sessions they do and we put on a session – I think one working on our shape going forwards unopposed and then some smaller-sided games.

‘And we saw enough in both of those that he was a decent player.

‘We had about five triallists a day in January!

‘That slowed down towards the end of the season when we got a settled-down side.

‘And Romain is one of those we have followed up.’

The midfielder has penned a two-year contract with the Blues.

He joins the likes of newcomers Tom Craddock, Sonny Bradley, Danny East and Joe Devera in joining the club so far this summer.