COLUMN: Defender is gift wrapped and under the tree, but is he what manager wants?

Drew Talbot is all but gift wrapped and sitting under the Proact Christmas tree, but the question remains '“ is he what Jack Lester wants?

The defender, a veteran yet still only 31 years of age, has left Portsmouth by mutual consent just in time for the festive period.

Having, presumably, negoatiated some kind of a pay-off for the six months that remained on his contract and being likely tofavour a move back up north, it’s hard to imagine him holding the Spireites to ransom over the pounds and pence needed to make a deal happen.

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This is a club he described as ‘wonderful’ when he departed in 2016, a club where he spent seven and a half years and won two League Two titles.

For the player, a move back to the Proact after could be seen as a no brainer, particularly after a spell at Pompey that brought so little football.

It takes two to meet under the mistletoe, however.

There are lots of things to consider before kissing and making up with a player that was released 17 months ago.

The most obvious upside when it comes to Talbot is his versatility and the fact that he could plug a number of gaps.

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It just so happens, at this time, that Chesterfield are desperately lacking defensive cover.

Injuries to Brad Barry and Laurence Maguire have left them woefully short of numbers in the defensive unit and another injury or suspension would be problematic.

Talbot is experienced and hard working, he knows what it feels like to succeed with this club and he knows the manager well.

He remains popular with the vast majority of Spireites supporters too.

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The obvious potential downside has been highlighted by some, however, since the news broke that Chesterfield have spoken to the former Sheffield Wednesday man.

Just how fit is he and how fit can he stay?

Talbot’s injury record doesn’t make for comfortable reading.

In a season and a half with Portsmouth he’s played just 14 times.

Lester wants his side to play a high tempo, energetic game and to do so he needs players to be very, very fit.

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It’s important to add that Lester and staff have proved in just over two months that they know exactly how to get a player fit, lean and firing on all cylinders.

The new year could bring a new lease of life for a much loved Spireites old boy.