Imps Linked With Swoop For One Time £2m Striker

Portsmouth once paid almost £2m for John Marquis, but by the time tomorrow’s game kicks off at Rotherham, he could be a Lincoln City player.

Marquis is out of contract at the end of the current season, and he’s not been in manager Danny Cowley’s plans. Rumours that he could be on his way to Lincoln have been circulating all day, but it seems reports coming out of Portsmouth are suggesting the rumour mill is accurate. John Marquis, who cost Pompey £2m the season we came into League One, could be an Imp for the rest of the season.

Marquis is a big earner at Fratton Park, and whilst the deal is not yet confirmed as a loan or permanent (or, for that matter, confirmed at all), it is suggested Portsmouth will make some contribution to his wages until the end of the season. It’s a good switch for the striker, if it happens; he spent a couple of years at Doncaster, so knows the area, and needs a shop window to get himself a decent deal tied up this summer. He won’t get that in Portsmouth’s reserves.

Who is John Marquis? He started his career as a youth at Millwall, spending seven years with them as a pro. He never quite broke through, playing 52 times in the Championship between 2009 and 2016, scoring five goals. That did include loan spells with Staines, Pompey, Torquay, Northampton, Cheltenham, Gillingham, Orient, and Northampton (again). His best spells with the second Cobblers stint (six in 15 League Two goals) and Gillingham (eight in 21 League One strikes).

Imps v Portsmouth in 2020 – Courtesy Graham Burrell

When he left Millwall he hooked up with Doncaster, where he found his feet. He smashed 26 in 45 League Two games in 2017, helping them to promotion. The following season he reached 14 in 45, and in his final Doncaster season he managed 21 in 44. In total, across three years with Doncaster, he scored 61 goals in 134 league outings, 67 in 153 across all competitions. His move to Pompey hasn’t been a huge success; he notched 14 in 48 in his first season, then 18 in 49 the following campaign. This year he has struggled for form, with just four in 24.

In that time he scored four goals against us; home and away in 2019/20, and he got a brace as they thrashed us 3-1 at our place last season. It’s an impressive record, he’s scored more goals at Sincil Bank than some of our own strikers in the past! If there was ever a ‘prolific’ scorer, or ‘proven’, then it is John Marquis. I know he’s had a tough spell at Pompey, and often been the focus of stick from their fans, but he was someone I used to write about a lot at Football League World as a player capable of making a big difference to teams. When he left Doncaster, it was assumed by many he’d be Championship bound.

There is a bit of a kicker; we have been linked in some circles to Tyler Walker, but it appears the deal for us to take Marquis means Pompey will now go for Walker. It’s bittersweet, I’d have loved Walker back, but getting a League One striker, proven to the tune of 103 goals in five-and-a-half seasons, isn’t all bad.

More on it as it develops, unless it’s whilst I’m on the radio between six and seven tonight, 94.9 fm.