BOSS Eddie Howe gave “outstanding professional” Wes Fogden a glowing reference after confirming that the utility man was poised to join Portsmouth.

The Cherries manager revealed that Fogden was set to complete a move to the League Two outfit on a free transfer, as predicted by the Daily Echo.

Versatile midfielder Fogden, who has also played as a right-back during his time at Dean Court, made 12 starts and 14 sub appearances in League One last season.

But hit by injury problems this term, the 25-year-old has not featured for Cherries’ first team since appearing in a 3-1 home victory against Notts County in April.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “Wes will join Portsmouth early next week.

“He has been a really good servant to the football club and he is an excellent professional. But it has been difficult, and will be difficult going forward, to guarantee him game time.

“Although he has had an injury this season, he is now back fit and for Wes’s own career, I think this is a good move for him and one we couldn’t really block.”

Fogden, who joined Cherries from non-league Havant & Waterlooville in October 2011, earned his chance in the professional ranks after recovering from major surgery on a benign tumour in his spine during his time as a trainee at Brighton.

Howe added: “He is an outstanding professional and someone who shows that you should never give up in your career and keep going.

“He came from non-league and has had a real battle in his life and he is a credit to himself.

“For him to get regular football now and to move his career on was important to him and we felt it only right to help him.”