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A Free-Agent Walking Down the Street



As the new npower Championship season gets closer and closer, Portsmouth's team still lack numbers. We have a team made up of 'youngsters' and other seniors, who are expected to move on in the coming weeks (at least some of them).

David Lampitt and Steve Cotterill have been looking at free agents, loanees and others who are willing to come in for cheap. Makes sense, considering the club's financial constraints. Up till now, we have signed up Sonko, on loan, and offered contracts to Ashdown and Jordan, both without a club. And both are expected to bite off Lampitt's hand and take their chance, no matter what financial mess we're in.

But there is another free-agent who is also willing to bite off the hand of anyone who is ready to offer him a contract. A very familiar face; Benjani Mwaruwari. Benjani, after being told that his Manchester City contract will not be renewed and Sunderland has not shown any interest in him after his unsuccessful spell at the end of last season (8 appearances and no goals), he remains walking around looking for a possible club to play for.

Benjani has his heart at Portsmouth. No doubt. He was never as successful as when he played for Pompey between 2006-2008, making 70 appearances and scoring 19 goals. He was later shown the back door by then manager Redknapp, as we all know. It looked good for some, but ultimately we all came to understand that Benjani would have stayed here in every situation, unlike Defoe.

People may argue that the attacker is tiring. He is on the wrong side of 30, but he has a lot to offer, especially in the (no)power Championship. I am sure that Benjani's agent is not as Boateng's, and he could understand the club's financial issues.

If Portsmouth can sign Benjani, he will offer a lot. He is a strong player who knows where the goal is. He is a player that both Nugent and Smith (assuming they will stay) will need to help them upfront. I am very sure that he will give us more than Kanu (with all due respect to the King).

Benjani hasn't scored for a long time, and he will be looking forward to play and score, no matter where and how. And if we can offer him a one-year contract, no-one will lose. We haven't got too much to offer, but we can benefit from what he still has to offer. Every little helps. Beggars can't be choosers, right? If this move had to happen, we will see a face that made us shed tears for the right reasons. And we haven't done that for a while.

Written by Pompey Malta.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday August 1 2010

Time: 1:06PM

Your Comments

I would love to see him back here Rug, but would he be prepared to return under our current financial constraints? Is his love of the club and the promise of regualr first team starts enough?
Tantona
Sorry, reply to Pompey Malta!
Tantona
i would have him back in a shot, he was pompey through and through. i guess that the mega rich manchester united never had to pay us the rest of his fee as they let him go before he played the required number of matches. how can that be fair. play up pompey
pompeygriff
whoops that should read manchester city.
pompeygriff
Do you think this could actually happen though? SC has constanly been saying that he doesnt think there are any good free agents in the market anymore..... I wonder if Benji still has his house in the new forest?...
pompeybakers
Do you think this could actually happen though? SC has constanly been saying that he doesnt think there are any good free agents in the market anymore..... I wonder if Benji still has his house in the new forest?...
pompeybakers
Tantona, as I said in the article I do not think that money matters at this stage of Benjani's career. He will be looking to end his career on a high, which means playing football. I also think that he will find his place in our current squad. We only have half decent attackers in Smith and Nugent. Webber is not fit and Kanu soon celebrates his 50th birthday.
Pompey Malta
griff that was a matserpiece from Harry and Storrie. They got rid of him when he was giving us the best season ever! It was purely insane. But 'Arry wanted names, and he worked hard to get rid of some our stars; Benjani and Taylor as an example!
Pompey Malta
I can see Cotterill signing him. We just signed Sonko. Sonko was in a very similar situation as Benji's. He will either come good or fall out of favour. He had nothing to lose, and us, as a club cannot do much. In my opinion, signing Benjani is a well-worth taken risk.
Pompey Malta
I agree with malta, when Benji was traded for Defoe and Taylor pushed out for Diarra and Crouch etc. that was the turning point for Pompey, gone where players who loved playing for the club, in were merceneraries, Diarra was class, but even he admitted we were a stepping stone, about the time we went bust I suppose!
paultsmouth
hmm a 31 year old who hasn't played properly in what 3-4 years.... as much as i loved him, i think we really need to get over Benji, if he came back all that would happen would be us getting disappointed, think schumy in F1, imo come backs just don't work i'm afraid. shame mind cause the guy was brilliant
pompeym@
Benjannniii woooaoo , benjani woooaoo, love to able to sing that again and see him back home. I think he'd come back for bout 5000 pw. He never wanted to leave and this is a great opportunity for him to come home
PFC-Jono
Would love to have him back... But hear that his injury is pretty grim. He is crocked right now anyway (so we would have something to lose - wages for no player!) - but even when 'fit' - the knee/ankle is giving him grief. They say 'never go back' - but wouldn't be nice to have a FIT Benjani hassling those defences again.
scott mc
...also he owes us money! He could pay it off in wages - some of his wages anyway!
scott mc
m@ why are you saying that he hasn't played properly in 3 years? I simply do not agree. The guy was forced out. He never wanted to leave. He never felt home anywhere. He simply belongs at Fratton. Remember, we are no longer a premiership team! If Smith and Nugent and maybe Kanu and Utaka are the ones leading our attack, we are in serious trouble. At least we need someone who is a fan favourite as a starter. Kanu is losing that. Nugent will never have that, Utaka either and Smith is too average. Benjani will come good. 31 is nothing is the Championship!
Pompey Malta
scott, I think that his injury is not such a problem. He looked injury-free at the end of the season. We will lose nothing if we offer him a pay as you play contract perhaps right? Benjani is not after the money. He is rich enough! WE need him!
Pompey Malta
tbh he fits the bill, injury prone with no better offer
ruffcider
Malta he's been rotting on Man City's bench for 3 years that's why i said he hasn't played properly for 3 years. but anyway just because he was forced out doesn't mean he's still a good player does it cause i promise you he's not, he's old and has a very serious injury which he's never really recovered from. and as for being in trouble with Nugent and Smith are you joking? Nugent was called up for England because of his scoring rate in the championship and both him Smith and Webber are proven championship stars! on top of that Benji was never a real striker anyway he scored 19 goals in 70 league appearances that's almost 1 goal every 4 matches! and as much as i loved the guy thats bloody awful, but the reason he was good was not his scoring record it was because of what he gave to the team and that commitment and doggedness was what made him a great player and unfortunately now because of his age and injury he can't give us that, so i'm failing to see the benefit of having him in the squad. at least with Kanu he has an amazing touch and he still has bag fulls of skill and that WILL serve us well in the championship. sorry to be so harsh but it had to be said, we can't afford sentiment anymore.
pompeym@
oh and just to add to his scoring record he scored 0 in 8 games for Sunderland and 4 in 23 for City .... not great is it
pompeym@
I guess we have different opinions then! Let us wait and see what Nugent will do. I just hope, for the sake of team obviously, that he finds the net every time he plays.
Pompey Malta
all we've got atm is stats and the stats say he should be electric, along with Smith and Webber, but honestly i would love for you too be right, i'd love Benji to come back and for him to be as good as we all remember, unfortunately i just don't see it and the fact he's played 31 games since jan (?) 08 when he left us would suggest i'm right :/
pompeym@
Malta, the issue is he cannot pass a medical anywhere.
russellm
if we could get him on a month by month to start with..
nodster
If he isn't injured now and he'll accept our wage levels get him back in. This was where he shone before and he can shine here again.
tracyc
Yes that might be a problem; the medical. Look at Ben Haim... he couldn't move on. Anyways people, thanks for commenting on this issue! PuP
Pompey Malta
And thanks to you Malta for your contribution.
eastneydave
 

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