Portsmouth to continue spending big on academy signings

Portsmouth academy chief Paul Hart says they'll continue to spend big to bring Europe's best young players to the south coast.

Hart has already recruited two new signings in internationals James Hurst and Gael N'Lundulu.

Hurst is an England under-16 full-back who arrived from West Brom, while N'Lundulu is a France under-16 striker from Paris Saint Germain.

Both commanded a fee as Pompey's director of youth operations bids to build an impressive pool of young talent at Fratton Park.

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Hart told the Portsmouth News: "You've seen some of the players coming in now. These are internationals, no mugs. The first thing I did when I came in was bring Alan Miller in from Aston Villa as head of recruitment and we are looking all over the world.

"It's a necessity. We want to produce players for the first team. I am not employed by England, I am employed by Portsmouth Football Club. We have got a big hole to fill. We hadn't done anything in terms of youth development, really, for a number of years and we've got a lot of catching up to do.

"What we are doing is buying time. We are filling that middle group, giving time to our younger boys. We are confident somewhere down the line there will be some players coming through - but that's not to say we will ever stop looking at the best players worldwide.

"If the right quality comes up we will bring them in. We've got to continually improve our current playing staff as well as looking further down the line at different age groups where we can improve the whole scheme of things. I can sell this club and we are attracting these players without the facilities Chelsea and Arsenal can boast. These lads - and there will be more of them coming - aren't the finished article by any means.

"They've got to work very, very hard, but they are quality."

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