The man who can rewrite Pompey promotion script

Eoin Doyle has proven pedigree
Eoin Doyle has proven pedigree

We were waiting, hoping for a game-changer.

Pompey needed a name to shift the landscape in the bid to get out of League Two; someone to invigorate the convictions of supporters whose belief is on the turn.

Step forward, Eoin Doyle.

On a day which walks hand in hand with bluster and hyperbole, the Blues have quietly gone about their January transfer business before making a big noise at the last.

There wasn’t any sign of Jim White and his yellow tie crossing to a rain-soaked and bedraggled reporter outside the Club’s Roko base on Tuesday evening.

Maybe they should have, though, because Doyle’s loan move, as a piece of business, was on a different planet to the kind of obscure loan deals being feted on Sky Sports.

The Irishman was the man Paul Cook always had in his sights as he pursued the figure he believes can make the difference this season.

And it was the lure of linking up with the Scouser which proved the attraction ahead of a team sitting third in League One. Not bad for a man being told it was time to go by a small pocket of angry fans last weekend.

So while some supporters have called for reinforcements elsewhere, Cook has turned to steeling his front line. With Doyle, though, it’s not so much strengthening as pumping Pompey’s attacking options with steroids.

Every manager is looking for that footballing holy grail: Guaranteed goals. The 28-year-old is as close as you come to finding that at this level.

A hit-rate of nearly a goal every two games in lower-league football sees the Irishman finding the back of the net with the regularity the very best crave.

Breaking it down further, it’s a goal every 1.68 games on all starts and a finish as little as every 1.62 outings on full league run outs. Whatever way you slice it, you get impressive end product from the man from Dublin.

And it also provides Cook with a man he trusts.

After last week’s confused and garbled display against Exeter, the smart money is on a quick return to the manager’s 4-2-3-1 formation moving forward. Doyle, however, also provides a perfect foil for Conor Chaplin in a two-pronged attack.

With Curtis Main injured, Noel Hunt back-up and the other January striking arrival, Nicke Kabamba, marked as raw potential, Doyle represents about as safe a bet as you get in the fourth tier.

But those honed in the art of goalscoring are the most valuable of commodities – that means they come at a premium.

The Pompey board have pushed the boat out to land their man placed at the head of their manager’s January shopping list.

The front man cost £750,000 when moving to Cardiff in the Championship two years ago. Likewise, Doyle was handed a three-year deal when switching to Preston in the summer.

Bolton were the Lilywhite’s favoured destination at the start of play on Tuesday, owing to the loan fee they were prepared to pay.

Pompey have triumphed, however, and, as much as Cook’s relationship with Doyle was the trump card, no one should be so naive to think the chase was won without firm financial backing.

So Doyle’s deal is the perfect riposte to those knocking the board’s credentials at this level.

Pompey’s decision makers and executive staff can now step down from their transfer business. Their work is done. Purse strings have been loosened, the boundaries pushed.

In 2003, Yakubu arrived at Pompey – a signing which removed doubt from the charge to the Premier League.

As a piece of business, Doyle’s signature has to be a League Two equivalent.