Friday 28 June 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
After three years on the fringes of the side at Chelsea, Glen Johnson opted to spend a season on loan at Portsmouth.
The 21-year-old, who had joined the Blues from West Ham United in 2003, had made 40 Barclays Premier League appearances for the west Londoners, but was eager to gain more top-flight experience – something manager Harry Redknapp was prepared to offer him at Portsmouth – and add to his four caps.
"This is a great opportunity for me to play regular league football again and force myself back into the England set-up"
"This is a great opportunity for me to play regular league football again and force myself back into the England set-up," said the full-back who had made just four appearances in the Barclays Premier League for Jose Mourinho’s title-winners the previous season. “The club have big ambitions and I'm looking forward to playing a part in them."
Redknapp was eager to improve his side’s defence having finished just a place above the relegation zone the previous campaign and had identified Johnson as an ideal signing to help re-invigorate the south-coast side.
“He is a top defender and will continue to get better, so this is a real top quality capture for us,” said Redknapp. "The lad has a great future ahead of him. He is already an outstanding defender and the kind of player most Premier League sides would give their right arm for."
Johnson’s arrival certainly helped improve Portsmouth’s fortunes as they finished ninth in the division in the 2006/07 season, while the right-back made 26 top-flight appearances. Although he returned to Stamford Bridge the following season, making one further League appearance, the prospect of sustained first-team football persuaded him to sign for Pompey on a four-year deal in August 2007.
The decision to commit permanently to the Pompey cause would be rewarded with an FA Cup winners’ medal at the end of that campaign, 58 further top-flight appearances for Redknapp’s side and international recognition.
Johnson has since gone on to make over 100 appearances for Liverpool, after moving to Anfield in 2009, and boasts 49 England caps.