Player of the month-elect Jed Wallace could be playing Championship football at the moment.
That is the verdict of Ricky Holmes, with his former team-mate set to learn tomorrow whether he has won the League Two accolade.
He has every attribute, he can run, he’s quick and sharp and has an eye for goal, which is invaluable for a footballer. He can definitely progress.Ricky Holmes
The 20-year-old has been in impressive form for the Blues this season with 14 goals from midfield and continues to be observed by a host of higher-division scouts.
His eye-catching form over the past month, including an involvement in five of Pompey’s six goals in the 6-2 hammering at Cambridge, earned him a nomination for February’s Player of the Month.
Andy Awford’s outstanding record over that same period has deservedly seen him put forward in the managerial category.
Both will tomorrow morning learn whether their achievements have been recognised with the awards.
Regardless, Holmes has no doubt Wallace possesses the ability to take his career up through the leagues.
And he has backed his former Port Solent house-mate to keep on flourishing in first-team football.
The Northampton winger said: ‘Jed is probably one of my best pals in football, I have spoken to him every day since I left Pompey.
‘But that has nothing to do with it when I say I think he could be playing in the Championship right now.
‘He has every attribute, he can run, he’s quick and sharp and has an eye for goal, which is invaluable for a footballer. He can definitely progress.
‘What people don’t see is he also works his socks off, always taking part in extra work in training and willing to learn.
‘Jed can go as far as he wants, he just needs to keep his head down and keep pushing on – I’m hanging onto him to get a few quid in the future!
‘People might accuse him of being big time and arrogant but he believes in himself.
‘If you don’t believe in yourself then nobody else is going to.
‘When I joined Pompey he was struggling and I had to put my arm around him. He had a few stinkers, held his hands up and has never looked back.
‘Whenever he shows inconsistency the crowd seems to get on him straight away and that is credit to Jed, people have come to expect things from him.
‘He is a big character in the dressing room and I feel people do forget how young he is.’
This month players will select their PFA League Two Team of the Year.
Holmes is in no doubt one of his votes will go to Wallace when the time comes to agonise over his personal selection.
The duo were the outstanding performers in Pompey’s 1-0 defeat at Sixfields on Tuesday night.
And in Holmes’ eyes, Wallace continues to improve at pace.
He added: ‘Jed will be in my team of the year when it comes to it.
‘To get 14 goals from midfield is some achievement – and the season isn’t even over yet.
‘I want him to do well, I have only got a few years left and he can start looking after me, especially after the amount of meals I have cooked him!’