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£1m Pompey signing once branded ‘best in League One’ made available for free transfer

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Former Portsmouth striker John Marquis is set to depart Bristol Rovers this summer after the club decided not to renew his contract.

The West Country club announced their retained list on Tuesday, and Marquis, along with Sam Finley, are two senior players being moved on. His departure has been on the cards for a while, as he did not make the last five matchday squads, despite not nursing an injury.

Marquis found it tough to hold down a starting spot after former Rotherham United boss Matt Taylor was installed as Joey Barton’s successor. He played 42 times in all competitions, but only 17 of them were starts. He departs with a record of six goals and one assist this term.

The 31-year-old was bought from Doncaster Rovers for a fee of around £1m or more back in July 2019 when Kenny Jackett was in charge. He spent two-and-a-half seasons at Fratton Park and scored 36 times in 121 games.

Marquis was a striker who split opinion among the fan base during his time on the South Coast. Danny Cowley allowed him to leave in January 2022, and he joined Lincoln City on a short-term deal before signing for Rovers in the summer.

Upon his arrival at the Memorial Stadium, then-manager Joey Barton branded him “the best in League One”. Marquis departs the Mem having scored 17 goals and provided four assists in 84 matches, helping them to 17th and 15th placed finishes in the third tier.

For whichever club he moves to next, it will be his 11th team. Marquis has been playing for 15 years, beginning with Millwall before having loans at Staines Town, Pompey, Torquay United, Northampton Town, Cheltenham Town, Gillingham, and Leyton Orient.

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