How would Jamal Lowe do in the Championship?
Jamal Lowe has been on fine form for Portsmouth so far this season which has seen his team soar to an astounding 5 point lead at the top of the League One table going into the second half of the season.
With a host of Championship clubs showing significant interest in the Pompey star, now would be an ideal time to take a closer look at his career so far.
He began his career a product of the Barnet academy, but only managed a lowly 15 appearances across three seasons for The Bees. During this time, he was shipped out on loan to a number of non-league clubs, including the likes of Hayes & Yeading United, Boreham Wood and Hitchin Town just to name a few.
Average displays during this period resulted in him being allowed to leave Barnet on a free in January 2015. He then went on to sign for St Albans City, where he had enjoyed his most successful spell, scoring 5 goals in 16 appearances.
In the second half of the season, he only managed a single goal in 15 appearances for St Albans in the Conference South. Things were looking down for Jamal. In the summer of 2015, he was handed a lifeline by fellow Conference South side Hemel Hempstead Town, where he moved on a free.
Once again, he failed to make a significant impact in his 11 appearances and was allowed to leave as soon as November to then Isthmian Premier side Hampton & Richmond Borough, taking his club tally in 2015 up to four.
The further step-down proved highly beneficial for Jamal, as he was finally able to hit some form. He bagged a compelling 30 goals in just 48 outings across just over a year and a half for The Beavers, and also achieved a promotion during this time. This earned him a move to his current club, Portsmouth, in October 2016 for an undisclosed fee, where he signed an 18 month contract. Despite the step up, he still proved handy in League Two scoring 4 goals in 14 league appearances in the second half of the season.
The following season, in League One, he made 50 appearances for Pompey across all competitions, scoring eight goals as well as laying on nine assists for his team-mates. Decent. Now, sitting pretty at the top of the third tier he already has 11 goals and 4 assists in 29 outings and on that kind of form, it is not a surprise there are a host of Championship clubs, including Nottingham Forest, Middlesborough and QPR vying for his signature.
Style of Play
Primarily used as a right-winger but also competent on the left and in central positions, Lowe has the pace and power that would make him a true asset to any Championship club. He also demonstrates impressive stamina, often doing the running for his veteran captain Brett Pitman. This could be an important factor when handling the gruelling physical demands of the Championship. The eye for goal he developed during his spell at Hampton & Richmond has successfully developed during his tenure at Portsmouth, creating a rare footballing niche: a winger that can both score and create.
Furthermore, he is still only 24 years old so is yet to enter his prime years, meaning he is undoubtedly likely to improve further and would therefore be a real coup for any interested parties. However, stepping up another level at this time may cause fears of halting his potential, as first team chances may become a rarity, and potentially winning a title with Portsmouth could be crucial in his development.
Adding to this, on current form I reckon it would take a substantial 6-figure fee in order to prize him away from Fratton Park, which may seem too large a risk for some clubs considering he has no experience of the second tier.