Defender Joe Rafferty looks set to sign for Portsmouth after leaving Preston North End on a free transfer this summer.

North End had to make some tough decisions this summer as Ryan Lowe looked to shape his squad.

The likes of Tom Barkhuizen and Scott Sinclair were both released whilst Paul Huntington was let go after 10 years of service at Deepdale.

Lowe also decided to let defender and fellow Liverpudlian Joe Rafferty leave the club with his contract coming to an end.


Rafferty only started two Championship games last season and both came under Lowe.

Lowe’s assistant Mike Marsh even coached Rafferty at Liverpool and the Irish full back was captain of Marsh’s Under-18 side at Anfield.

Given his versatility to play at left back and right back, some wondered whether Rafferty could land another deal as cheap cover at the back.

Instead, Preston decided to let Rafferty move on – and it looks like he is on the verge of a move to League One.

The News in Portsmouth report that Pompey are working on a deal to sign Rafferty on a free transfer.

Danny Cowley is moving to sign Rafferty as Pompey look to launch a push for promotion to the Championship.

Preston North End v Cheltenham Town - Carabao Cup Third Round
Photo by Dave Howarth – CameraSport via Getty Images

An agreement looks to be close and Portsmouth fans will be wondering just what they’re getting in Rafferty.

Our verdict is that Rafferty is a pretty steady full back who won’t be all that exciting going forward but can play on either side of a back four.

Rafferty was pretty solid if unspectacular at Preston and the Championship looked a step too far for him at times, but he was a cheap signing from Rochdale who did his job.

League One is more Rafferty’s level right now and he can provide real experience at that level having already played in the third tier with Rochdale.

The time was right for Rafferty to leave Preston but we can certainly see him being a dependable full back for Portsmouth in League One – and who knows, maybe he can help them win promotion and end up playing against North End in the 2023-24 season.

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