Whittingham Keene to bring back striker

James Keene netted against Colchester. Picture: Barry Zee
James Keene netted against Colchester. Picture: Barry Zee

Guy Whittingham has revealed he would like to bring James Keene back next season.

The striker has left Pompey at the end of a two-month loan spell and returned to Sweden.

The former Blues youth-teamer scored just once in nine matches but impressed with his work-rate and attitude.

His tireless display as a second-half substitute helped secure victory at Crewe.

Keene previously told The News he would not rule out a return to the south coast, although he has two years remaining on his Elfsborg contract.

And Whittingham will be making enquiries whether there is any chance of that happening next season.

He said: ‘With James we are looking beyond this season.

‘We know him and what he can do so will have a look at that situation and speak to his parent club in Sweden to see what their thoughts are.

‘Whether it is for a loan or they are going to release him, we’ll have to see what they are going to do.

‘If they want money for him then no chance.

‘I think James would be interested.

‘I think he is looking for a move back over to this country – but you’ll have to ask him where he wants to go and what level he wants to play at.

‘It doesn’t look like he is part of their plans.

‘But he has got to go back and sort that out for himself.’

Keene returns to Elfsborg tomorrow in time for the start of their league season.

He leaves Pompey behind for a second time in his career.

And Whittingham admits the striker has made a big impression on him.

He added: ‘I think James has done well during his time with us.

‘Admittedly, everybody would have liked to have seen him score one or two more goals.

‘He’s got into areas where he has had chances and not taken them – but what he has done for the side is worked his socks off in every game.

‘He does run around a hell of a lot and gets involved and creates things through that.

‘James is a really nice kid and we’ll be looking into it (getting him back).’