Crouch set to be unveiled as Pompey player

July 10, 2008

Peter Crouch will begin his second spell at Portsmouth on Friday when he completes his £11million move from Liverpool.

The south-coast club have called a press conference for 1pm, by which time they hope the England international will have passed his medical with flying colours and completed the formalities of signing his contract.

Boss Harry Redknapp is excited by the arrival of the 6ft 7ins striker, who is likely to paired with fellow England international Jermain Defoe for a little and large partnership which the manager hopes will help build on last season's impressive performances.

Pompey's FA Cup victory over Cardiff in May has given the club their first UEFA Cup outing and Crouch's European experience with Liverpool will be invaluable in their maiden campaign.

It also means Redknapp has plenty of options as he battles on the home and continental front.

'If Crouchie comes I will be very happy with what I've got. I've always said I wanted four or five strikers to choose from. Last year we didn't have that,' he said.

'Crouchie is obviously a quality player, he will be a fantastic signing for us. He's a good lad as well, him and Jermain together can be exciting.'

Crouch, 27, will join the Fratton Park club for the second time, having played for Pompey in the 2001/02 season before moving to Aston Villa.

But while his arrival may put some of the existing stars under threat, Redknapp insists he does not want any of his forwards to leave.

David Nugent, who endured a miserable time in his first Premier League season having joined from Preston for £6million, appears the player most under threat with Crouch arriving and Defoe, Kanu and on-loan Chelsea forward Ben Sahar already on board.

However, Redknapp he expects everyone to stay and fight for their places.

'I am not looking for any more strikers now, that will be it for that position,' Redknapp told The News in Portsmouth.

'I don't want any of them to leave now. I would like to keep Nuge if possible, you need all of them this season.

'If you are competing in the UEFA Cup as well there are a lot of matches, we need strength in depth and these players give that.

'It's up to Nuge now, I'm looking for him to push on. If he gets the opportunity it's up to him to take it. He needs to come good and show what he can do.

'The first year was a big step up for him, but he knows what's expected now. He's got the ability to do it, no doubt about that.

'I'm happy with them all, I don't want any to go.'