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Avoiding Deadline Depression: The Signings Charlton Need

While Saturday’s goalless draw with Wolves reminded supporters that there is at least some quality within Charlton’s squad, there is still a desperate need to make signings before the deadline passes next Monday.

It will probably prove to be the case that the names of new additions will be hard to predict, with Roland Duchatelet supplementing Guy Luzon’s squad with players from abroad. Nonetheless, it’s clear to see what positions Charlton need to strengthen in.

In what will be a season defining few days, recruiting in the positions below, and recruiting players with proven quality and experience, is a must.


Target Man

How much do we need one?

11/10. If only to stop Andre Bikey going up top.


Because it’s the year two thousand and fifteen and we still haven’t replaced Yann Kermorgant. Sob.

There’s been a need to find an adequate link-up striker since the Frenchman was seen holding up a Bournemouth shirt during last January’s deadline day, but now that need is desperate.

It would appear that Luzon’s style of play is very direct. The chances of long-ball football being successful when your forwards are either sub-six foot or not exactly dominate in the air are slim.

Who could we sign permanently?

Wigan Athletic’s Marc-Antoine Fortune has recently been linked, while rumours of fellow Latic Andy Delort coming to SE7 don’t seem to know when to die, but neither would be too inspiring. Scoring past Yohann Thuram doesn’t make Fortune a competent player and Delort’s struggled to make an impact in England.

Chris O’Grady and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas are also names that have been mentioned, but if O’Grady goes anywhere it will be to Sheffield United and Emmanuel-Thomas won’t be a realistic target. Should a permanent signing occur, it will likely be a wildcard from abroad.

What about loans?

While it would seem Leicester City are holding out for some cash for the New Zealand international, acquiring Chris Wood on loan would be a real coup. It’s unlikely the Addicks could afford, or would be willing, to pay a fee for the striker, but covering the cost of his wages would be a worthwhile investment.

A more realistic option would be Southampton’s Sam Gallagher, who made 18 appearances for the Saints last season. The 6’4 19-year-old has missed the entirety of this season with injury, bet is said to be close to a return and would be a useful addition.

And the network?

Nigerian striker Kim Ojo, a 6’4 Nigerian, has scored three goals since 2012, and only once since joining Ujpest from Genk in the summer. The 26-year-old, however, did score an impressive 33 goals in 69 games for Norwegian outfit Brann across two seasons in 2011 and 2012.

Carl Zeiss Jena forward Jakub Wiezik, a 6’5 Pol, has six goals in 14 games for the German fourth tier side. The prospect of Polish Jake is almost too exciting to cope with.

What if we don’t get one in?

Cry. See that Kermorgant has scored for Bournemouth. Cry some more. Recall Joe Pigott from Southend. Breakdown.


Creative/Dynamic Centre-Midfielder

How much do we need one?

9/10. While Johann Berg Gudmundsson can play centrally, you would rather he played out wide.


The signing of Milos Veljkovic leaves the Addicks well stocked when it comes to deep-lying midfielders who like a battle and do the simple things well. The Tottenham loanee joined by Johnnie Jackson, Yoni Buyens and Jordan Cousins.

But none of Charlton’s central options are particularly dynamic. None of them have the ability to beat an opponent, and while they can prove to be match-winners in a defensive effort, they won’t be winning games with a piece of brilliance in attack.

Who could we sign permanently?

Watford’s Lewis McGugan spent time on loan at Sheffield Wednesday recently, and has been made available by the Hornets. The 26-year-old is an inconsistent performer, but 10 goals in 34 games last season shows his talent.

Internet rumours have linked the Addicks to Club Brugge midfielder Lior Refaelov and Joey Barton’s best mate Yossi Benayoun. But those two rumours stink of people putting two and two together and getting five – the pair are both Israeli.

What about loans?

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard recently returned to training after injury, and impressed while on loan at Birmingham and Brighton last season. With Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata ahead of him at Old Trafford, you would think he would be available for loan. Lingard, however, may be a player just a touch too good for us.

A more realistic signing may come from Arsenal. Having turned Francis Coquelin into the best player in the world, Arsene Wenger may well trust with another one of his bright talents. Midfielder Gedion Zelalem has made two appearances for the Gunners, and the 17-year-old would be a useful addition to Charlton’s squad.

And the network?

I’m just going to leave this here.

(Vine: @PlentyOfShots)

Okay, he couldn’t last 90 minutes, and his relationship with Luzon means there’s a better chance of Jonjo Shelvey coming back, but Astrit Ajdarevic evidently loved playing for Charlton, and it showed in his performances and on-the-pitch attitude.

What if we don’t get one in?

Hope some wingers are signed.


Versatile Winger

How much do we need one?

9/10. You can also make an argument for wanting two.


With Callum Harriot seemingly being converted into a forward, and frustrating even if he does play outwide, Lawrie Wilson doing his best to reverse his song and Frederic Bulot’s future unclear, there’s a lack of quality out wide.

Who could we sign permanently?

Having been released by Crystal Palace, Jimmy Kebe is available on a free transfer. Kebe, however, failed to impress while on loan at Leeds last season and probably wouldn’t be better than what we have already.

It has been suggested that Rotherham winger Ben Pringle may be available, while Duchatelet would have to make a massive U-turn in order to sign Cameron Stewart.

What about loans?

Should Wenger be feeling extremely generous, he may wish to loan us a second rough diamond to transform into the best player in the world. Serge Gnabry, a highly rated winger, has been injured since April, but has recently declared himself fit, and a spell in the Championship would surely help all parties.

Elsewhere, the talented Jack Grealish has voiced his frustration at not playing for Aston Villa, suggesting the Irishman is available for loan.

And the network?

Hungary international Krisztian Simon has six goals in 17 games for Ujpest this season, and spent time at Wolves as a 17-year-old.

What if we don’t get one (or two) in?

Square pegs in round holes.


Centre Back

How much do we need one?

5/10. It’s not a priority – there’s enough cover.


Andre Bikey and Tal Ben Haim have done their best impressions of the expected Andre Bikey and Tal Ben Haim in previous weeks, and a part of that might well be down to the fact they don’t have adequate competition.

Joe Gomez is a prospect, and can be trusted at full-back, but you’d feel slightly uncomfortable with a 17-year-old at the heart of the defence and Oguchi Onyewu just seems to have been signed to make up the numbers.

Who could we sign permanently?

Roland Duchatelet signing a player, especially from England, on a permanent deal that isn’t justifiably needed? You must be new here.

What about on loan?

Having been out injured since March, Bongani Khumalo has recently returned to full-fitness and has been playing for Tottenham’s U21s. The South African spent last season on loan at Doncaster Rovers, and impressed in their 3-0 win over the Addicks.

A more ambitious target would be Harry Maguire, who has found opportunities limited since joining Hull City from Sheffield United.

And the network?

Former Wigan right-back Ronnie Stam is on the fringes at Standard Liege, and can also play at centre-back, while 19-year-old Corentin Fore recently made his debut for Liege in the Europa League and is the sort of player Duchatelet would send to Charlton.

What if we don’t get one in?

Sigh deeply as Michael Morrison performs for Birmingham, and hope Bikey and Ben Haim play like a pair of Beckenbauers and not a pair of Brambles.


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