NEW Pompey signing Kyle Bennett has the potential to be a £15m player – according to his former manager.
The lively winger became new boss Paul Cook’s first signing when he arrived on a free transfer from Doncaster Rovers last month.
And his former team-mate at the Keepmoat Stadium, Brian Stock, believes the Blues have got themselves an exciting player with enormous ability, who just needs to add consistency to his game.
Stock, who is now skipper at the Hawks, captained the 24-year-old during their spell at Rovers together.
He is convinced Bennett will shine for Pompey next season.
Stock said: ‘I think about players I’ve played with who could go on to play at a much higher level. Kyle is definitely one that you think about in those terms.
I remember Dean Saunders telling him in training: ‘With your sort of ability, you should be a £15m player’.Brian Stock
‘He has unbelievable ability but it was just getting that consistency and dedication out of him to do it week in, week out.
‘In training, he could be the best player by a mile. But the consistency is probably the one reason why he hasn’t stepped up.
‘I remember Dean Saunders telling him in training: “With your sort of ability, you should be a £15m player”.
‘When I was captain, I’d look down the line at him and think: “You can win us the game today”. He is that type of player.
‘I think he is a fantastic signing for Portsmouth.
‘He is the sort of player you want on your team because he can be a match-winner.’
The former Bournemouth midfielder believes his former Rovers colleague will benefit from a change of location, which will allow him to concentrate on his football.
‘I wouldn’t say his attitude has let him down, but I think it’s stopped him from progressing,’ said Stock.
‘He has got more ability than most players I have ever played with.
‘But he has probably been so frustrating for managers.
‘He’s got a couple of mates up there that I know of and he liked a night out.
‘He’s a fantastic lad and there is not a person in football who dislikes him.
‘Moving down here will probably be the best thing for him.
‘By moving out of a certain comfort zone and making a few sacrifices by staying in for a few nights of the week, I think now is the time he can really knuckle down.
‘Stepping down to League Two, I think he will play week in, week out.
‘But Portsmouth have got a very, very talented player who could scoop all the awards at the end of the season.’
Stock has also offered a few clues to Pompey fans on the type of player they can expect to see.
‘Kyle can go past players like they are not even there,’ he added.
‘He is a crowd-pleaser because he takes defenders on. He scores good goals, he is quick and just glides past people.’