Conor Chaplin is '˜happy' at Pompey
CONOR CHAPLIN is happy plying his trade at Pompey.
But the Blues’ teenage marksman is destined to play at the highest level of the game.
That’s the assessment of team-mate Kal Naismith, who reckons the biggest clubs in English football will now be keeping tabs on the Academy graduate.
Chaplin hit the headlines again following two goals on his return to the side against Leyton Orient on Saturday.
That saw him join Gary Roberts at the head of the Pompey goal charts with seven efforts – despite not starting in the previous eight games.
Naismith knows a talent of Chaplin’s quality will attract suitors, but the Scot is hopeful he will remain beyond the transfer window this month.
Naismith said: To keep Conor Chaplin this month will be a massive boost to the squad.
‘Again, though, he is that special that big clubs are going to be looking at him.
‘I believe this boy can play at the highest level and with really big clubs.
‘He could do it at the highest clubs in England, the highest clubs anywhere.
‘It wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of big clubs are looking at him, but there’s no way we want him to leave.
‘As I say, he’s a joy to work with and a joy to play with on a Saturday. He’s just a good person to be around, so we definitely want him to stay.
‘I’m sure Conor wants to stay, too. He loves the club and he has a platform to play at a young age.
‘I’ve no doubt he will play at the highest level in his career, but I think right now he’s happy doing what he’s doing.’
Pompey boss Paul Cook has stated Chaplin is the best natural finisher outside the Premier League.
Naismith believes the 19-year-old would be able to hold his own in the top flight when it comes to his eye for goal.
He added: ‘If he was in the Premier League he’d probably be one of the best finishers there, too!
‘He just takes chances constantly. If you give them to him he makes it look easy.
‘He did it last year and I’d think that’s good for a young lad, but he does it again and again.
‘Conor keeps doing it because he practises and is so dedicated to the game.
‘We got the two goals through Conor on Saturday.
‘He’s an unbelievable player, a special talent. We’re delighted with him.
‘If you give Conor any sort of supply the ball ends up in the back of the net. You can give him scraps and that’s what he does.
‘In training every day he’s so into his finishing and works tirelessly. It’s a privilege to play with him and work with him.
‘He’s got such a good head on his shoulders for someone of a young age. The fans here love Conor but he will never get carried away with himself, and rightly so.
‘He’s a special talent and I’m happy to play with him.’