Pompey bolster squad and Blackpool bring back Dobbie

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PORTSMOUTH have bolstered their threadbare squad with the loan signings of Manchester City youngsters Karim Rekik and Luca Scapuzzi.

Dutch defender Rekik, 17, joined City in the summer after coming through the youth system at Feyenoord and 20-year-old Italian forward Scapuzzi has made two appearances for City, as well as nine on loan for Oldham earlier this season.

Stephen Dobbie has returned to Blackpool after completing a deadline-day loan move from Swansea. The 29-year-old forward played 22 times for the Seasiders, scoring six times, when they were promoted to the Barclays Premier League in 2010.

Reading have signed Arsenal striker Benik Afobe on loan until the end of the season. Royals manager Brian McDermott moved quickly to bolster his attacking options following the news Jason Roberts is expected to be sidelined for up to a month with a hamstring injury.

England youth international Afobe has previously enjoyed time on loan with Huddersfield in League One, and McDermott was pleased to have landed his man.

Derby have been dealt a huge injury blow with the news that captain former Rotherham United defender Shaun Barker faces a year out with a dislocated knee-cap.

Barker suffered the injury nine days ago towards the end of the east midlands derby against Nottingham Forest at Pride Park. As well as dislocating his knee-cap, the centre-half has ruptured his medial ligament, anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament in his right leg. The 29-year-old will undergo surgery next week.

“Shaun’s strength of character and determination will see him bounce back,” said manager Nigel Clough.