‘I didn’t really get going at Ipswich’ – Harrison joins League One rivals Portsmouth
PUBLISHED: 13:50 02 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:46 02 July 2019
Ipswich Town have sold striker Ellis Harrison to League One rivals Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee.
The 25-year-old has signed a three-year deal at Fratton Park. It's understood the Blues have recouped around two thirds of the £750k they spent to sign the front man from Bristol Rovers last summer, with the latter due a sell-on fee.
Former Town boss Paul Hurst signed the Welshman last July, but a combination of injuries and new boss Paul Lambert recruiting both Will Keane and Collin Quaner in January restricted him to just nine starts and eight substitute appearances. His one goal came against Sheffield United.
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett is a long-term admirer of Harrison, having tried to sign him from Bristol Rovers last summer and then again, from Town, in January.
"Coming here is a no-brainer," said Harrison. "I've got a manager who trusts me and has put his full faith in me, so I want to repay that.
"I'm very confident in my own ability and now it's up to me to prove that on a Saturday. I don't feel like I've hit my peak yet and there's more to come.
"I didn't really get going at Ipswich and show my full potential, but I was hindered by injury a lot of the time.
"Now I'm looking to really push on with Pompey next season and show everyone exactly what I can do.
"I remember playing at Fratton Park and it was very loud. I was trying to shout to the boys and they couldn't hear me. Having those fans behind you - you can't really ask for much more.
"It's a new start for me and hopefully we can be pushing to get into the Championship, which is where the club deserves to be.
"I've watched guys like Brett Pitman (ex Ipswich), who's played at a high level for a number of years, and it's something I can learn from."
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Portsmouth assistant manager Joe Gallen said: "We're really pleased to get Ellis here - he's someone we've kept tabs on for around 18 months now.
"We've always liked him as a player. He can fit into our system as a number nine and hold the ball up, win headers and score goals.
"He also brings added mobility to that position and has the right attitude, which is really important for us and fits into our philosophy.
"Ellis has a good record in League One and all the attributes we need. We feel he has the whole package and can add to our squad.
"With the players that we're starting to bring in, we're confident that they can make the difference for us in getting out of this league."
Portsmouth finished fourth in League One last season before losing to Sunderland in the play-off semi-finals. They have been made third favourites for promotion next season, behind Ipswich and Sunderland.
The Blues travel to Fratton Park on December 21 and then host the South Coast side on March 21.
Town have already signed prolific striker James Norwood on a Bosman free transfer from Tranmere this summer, the 28-year-old having enjoyed back-to-back promotions in the National League and League Two.
Lambert's other senior forward options, as it stands, are Freddie Sears (not due back from knee surgery until October at the earliest) and Kayden Jackson.
The Blues may yet sign former loanee Keane following his release by Hull City, while enquiries have been made about Conor Washington following his release by Sheffield United.
Meanwhile, Bartosz Bialkowski is not expected to complete his move to Millwall until the start of next week. The Polish keeper completed his medical yesterday.
His departure will take the number of senior summer exits, including loans expiring, to 15 players.
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