"But I saw him as a statement of intent. As a measure of how far this club had come in five years. Attracting players like Sol and David James represented a massive step forward for Portsmouth. His last game for Arsenal was in a Champions League final and I thought he was man of the match in Paris that night, and he settled in quickly and really lifted the place."
Ditto James, insisted Redknapp yesterday.
"Again, people tried to convince me to look at other goalkeepers," he said. "But I'd always liked the look of Jamo and I wanted him. He's been extraordinary for us. The clean sheets last season - I thought he was one of the best in the Premiership - and the performances he's produced this pre-season. He trains harder than anyone, he's got a great attitude and his talent is just incredible.
"If you were comparing him to an outfield player, you'd say he's the goalkeeping equivalent of Cristiano Ronaldo. He has the ability to make things look so easy."
Redknapp said: "They've both been there and done it all, and England could do with that kind of experience at the moment If Terry's injured, Sol is the perfect replacement and Jamo can also do a job for them. They will be key players for us again this season."