Manchester City loanee Gavin Bazunu's 'brilliant journey' has been praised by Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley.
The 20-year-old has been an ever-present in goal for Pompey this season in League One putting in some impressive performances between the sticks. In 40 appearances, Bazunu has kept 16 clean sheets for the south coast team and this form has not gone unrecognised.
Bazunu has been nominated for League One's Young Player of the Year Award and his current boss could not be more thrilled for the Republic of Ireland international. Speaking to Hampshire Live about the keeper, Cowley said: "Fully deserved, he should win it.
"I think Paddy Lane and Dan Neil have also been nominated, really good young players, and credit to both of them, they have had excellent seasons. Gavin for me is top. A brilliant journey for him. A great year for him last season, he learned so much playing in a Rochdale team that got relegated.
"He lost his place in that team, but we could see from the moment I met him, I just knew. You just know when a boy is going to be the best they can be, what an unbelievable mindset.
"Incredible intensity and desire to want to be the best that he can be and if you have an ambition in life and you want to be someone, then don’t half do it, give it everything you’ve got and he’s going to be the very, very best he can be. I’m really excited to follow his career."
Before joining Portsmouth on loan, Bazunu had a spell at Rochdale and despite being relegated Cowley says that he saw something in the shot stopper. He added: "It is funny actually because we were looking at a number of goalkeepers to potentially recruit and all the numbers and statistics went against Gavin.
"Once you started to watch his season and do the detailed work and hours and hours of video work, you started to realise that he’d had about three seasons in one. You all get caught up in the goals that they concede because a lot of people do goalkeeper recruitment and just look at the goals that they concede and look at where their weaknesses may be.
"Actually, when we looked at all of them, there hadn’t been too many that were directly his fault, probably five, which is incredible when you think how many Rochdale conceded that year. More to the point, how many unbelievable saves he’d made.
"The way he wants to play with his distribution just allows you to have an extra attacking player up the pitch. There’s a lot to like."