POMPEY’S summer transfer dealings stepped up a gear as two new signings arrived – forward Ellis Harrison from Ipswich Town and centre-back Paul Downing from Blackburn Rovers.
The club moved quickly with Matt Clarke’s departure confirmed, bringing in two new faces to add to the arrival of James Bolton from Shrewsbury Town.
Downing is a direct replacement for Clarke, the 27-year-old arriving from Blackburn Rovers. He spent much of last season on loan at Doncaster Rovers and played in the 1-1 draw at Fratton Park.
The Taunton-born defender started as a trainee at West Brom and spent the majority of his career at Walsall, before spells at MK Dons and Blackburn. He has over 300 appearances in all competitions
Harrison is strong running forward who was on Pompey’s radar before he moved to Portman Road last summer. He endured an injury-hit spell at Ipswich after a £750,000 move from Bristol Rovers a year ago.
He was a regular scorer at Rovers making more than 200 appearances at the Memorial Stadium. The Newport-born 25-year-old has represented Wales at up to under-21 level and scored at Wembley when Rovers won the Conference Premier play-offs in 2015.
Speaking about the Downing signing, assistant manager Joe Gallen said: “Paul’s an experienced centre-half and, like with most of our signings, we’ve been observing his performances for a while.
“He brings a lot of knowledge and leadership qualities to our back four, so we’re delighted to get this deal over the line.”
Speaking to the club’s official website, Harrison said: “Coming here is a no-brainer. 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.
Pompey’s interest in Oldham’s George Edmundson officially ended on Friday when the defender signed for Rangers.