Bristol Rovers linked with swoop for Watford starlet - Portsmouth also keen

Bristol Rovers have been linked with their first move of the January transfer window but Portsmouth are also watching.

Bristol Rovers and Portsmouth are reportedly interested in talented Watford goalkeeper Myles Roberts.

The summer transfer window has firmly shut but plans are already underway as to potential targets for January.

Rovers and Pompey are at opposite ends of the League One table with Danny Cowley’s men battling for promotion whilst the Gas are in a relegation fight.

Depending on how serious the interest is, the Hornets - now under the stewardship of former West Brom and West Ham boss Slaven Bilic could have a decision on their hands come the New Year.

EFL journalist Alan Nixon published in the print edition of The Sun (02.10.22, page 61) that Roberts was a player of interest to both clubs.

It is said that both teams are watching him as a result of his ‘impressive performances’ which have caught the eye.

Roberts is a goalkeeper currently out on loan at National League South side Welling United. He has made 10 appearances so far, conceding 13 goals and keeping three clean sheets, which has them in sixth.

He had previous loans at non-league Wingate and Concord Rangers as well, last year at Concord he made 36 appearances, keeping seven clean sheets and conceded 65 goals.

A goalkeeper would not be a priority signing for Joey Barton, who would prefer an attack-minded signing, more specifically in the wide areas.

James Belshaw is his firm first choice after an impressive 17 clean sheets last year after signing on a free transfer from Harrogate Town. Belshaw is contracted to Rovers until the summer of 2024 and is unlikely to be dropped for any matches.

His only rival at the moment is Anssi Jaakkola - who Belshaw displaced - who was acting as a goalkeeping coach for the early part of the season. Jaakkola’s contract was extended by a further season and he has been limited to just one EFL Trophy appearance this season.

Jed Ward, who was a goalkeeper in Jaakkola’s absence last season, is on a season-long loan at non-league Hungerford Town.