Crouch deal proves Redknapp's quality
Harry Redknapp may be in the autumn of his career as a manager - but it is about time his achievements at Portsmouth started to be taken more seriously outside Fratton Park.
The revelation today that Portsmouth have had an offer of around £9m accepted by Liverpool for Peter Crouch, and he is desperate to go there, says everything about the job Redknapp has done.
Any critique of Redknapp's career is usually prefaced by a patronising "good old 'Arry" or a simple description of his ability as a "wheeler dealer" in the transfer market.
In other words, call him what you like, but don't call him an outstanding manager.
There is so much more to Redknapp the manager than that and it is time it was acknowledged on a wider scale.
Just look at the team he has assembled at Fratton Park - and look at the players he is adding to it.
Redknapp is a manager who targets good players, has the powers of persuasion to bring them to Portsmouth, and then - rather importantly - gets them to play for him.
Crouch would have been a credible target for plenty of Premier League clubs, but the word on the grapevine since it became clear his days at Liverpool were numbered was that there was only one club and one manager he wanted to play for.
He is now going to get his wish in another statement of intent by Redknapp and Portsmouth - with more high-profile players to join him if other whispers are to be believed.
Redknapp's love affair with Pompey has been chequered, from resigning in November 2004 after the appointment of Velimir Zajec as executive director to an ill-fated spell in charge of rivals Southampton.
He was at Saints when they were relegated - not exactly something designed to hit hard at his popularity in Portsmouth admittedly - and was not welcomed by every supporter when he was re-appointed as manager in December 2005.
Redknapp showed his magic by guiding Portsmouth out of a seemingly doomed position - and since then it has been onwards and upwards, culminating in their FA Cup final win against Cardiff at Wembley in May.
Portsmouth's renaissance under Redknapp has been one of the Premier League's great hidden stories.
Redknapp has rejuvenated the careers of David James and Sol Campbell. He has attracted players of the calibre of Lassana Diarra to Portsmouth and pulled off a real coup by tempting Jermain Defoe away from Spurs.
There have been mistakes along the way - £6m for David Nugent anyone? - but the approach from Newcastle last season was an indicator of the respect Redknapp has among his peers in football.
Redknapp's latest foray into the market means he will have a likely front pairing of Crouch and Defoe next season - and this will be the envy of plenty of Premier League clubs.
Add to this a new 36,000-seater stadium overlooking Portsmouth harbour and Redknapp is going to leave a very healthy legacy.
Redknapp actually rates Pompey's Premier League survival in 2006 as a greater feat than winning the FA Cup - but now he has power to add.
Crouch is another top signing by Redknapp, a player who was under-used by Liverpool and arrives with a point to prove working with a manager who will put an arm around his shoulder and coax the best out of him.
Redknapp will have a few more new faces in place by the start of the season - just in time to make more of his critics eat their words.