Charlton, are a club with a massive rebuilding job to do with squad and backroom staff alike. The squad is going to need a boost in confidence and intense training to try and fix all of the problems seen last season. Joining the squad at the pre-season training are new signings Louis-Michel Yamfam, Ricky Holmes, Lee Novak and Nicky Ajose, the most recent acquisition to the Reds squad. All of these signings are considered attacking options with Holmes, Novak and Ajose being strikers and Yamfam being a winger. Will they fit the current Charlton set-up and help with their quest of having a strong campaign next season?
Louis-Michel Yamfam, signed from Stevenage for around just £40,000, is an 18-year-old winger who spent the last few weeks of last season on trial at SE7 and Charlton decided to offer the teenager a 2-year contract. Also being linked to Sheffield United and Brighton, Charlton got to him first because of the facilities they have at their dispense for young players. It is one of the best places to develop as a player as first-team action is almost a guarantee.
As for what Yamfam can offer Charlton isn’t all that clear as he has never made a first team appearance for Stevenage and is yet to make his senior debut. However, the winger has passed a trial and is considered highly rated and actually took part in Charlton’s U21 last match of their campaign and in their U18’s end of season playoff games. In these games, he created an assist with his quick feet and electric turn of pace. If these can be maintained and the youth staff hone in on some of his other aspects that need work he can definitely live up to his full potential.
Ricky Holmes joined from League 2 champions Northampton town for an undisclosed fee. Holmes joined on a two-year deal and was Russell Slade’s first signing. On Holmes’ arrival Slade told Charlton’s official website “I am delighted to be able to make Ricky my first signing for the club. He was a top target for me and to be able to bring him to The Valley was very important for us, as we look to build a strong squad for the season ahead”.
Ricky Holmes was included in the League 2 team of the season scoring 11 goals in 32 appearances for the Cobblers. He was also shortlisted for the League 2 player of the year award last season. Charlton can offer Holmes a better chance of promotion and a key position in the Addicks attack. Ricky Holmes can offer Charlton the goals to help get them there being a classic centre-forward who has a proven record of creating goals as well as scoring them.
Another striker joining Charlton was former Birmingham man Lee Novak. Novak will officially join on July 1st after leaving Birmingham meaning the Addicks signed him on a free transfer. Novak scored 15 goals in 38 games in League one last season as he was on loan at Chesterfield. Novak agreed a 3-year deal at the Valley and an elated Russell Slade said when the deal was done: “He has shown a consistency at both Championship and League One level, is a proven goalscorer and his work ethic is phenomenal as well”.
Novak has plenty to offer Charlton as he is a player who works hard and never gives defences a rest. He is exactly what Charlton need, a ruthless attacker who makes himself a nuisance. Novak joined Charlton because he believes we can get promotion saying on Charlton’s official website: “A club this size needs to be looking for promotion to get up the leagues and I’m hopeful that we can achieve that next season.”
If he can keep up his performances of previous seasons then the 27-year-old will certainly give Charlton the goals they need to get ‘back up the leagues’ to use Novak’s words. It’s more of a one-way deal here as all Charlton have to offer Novak is the facilities yet the club will rely heavily on Novak’s experience to guide us near an automatic promotion place.
Finally the most recent signing, Nicky Ajose, who is probably the most exciting addition so far. At only 24 he scored 24 goals for Swindon last season, a very impressive amount. Jose joins on a three-year contract and joined for an undisclosed fee.
This signing has created enthusiasm all around the Valley for fans, manager, and Ajose himself. Russell Slade was very happy with Ajose signing saying: “Nicky is a fantastic addition for the club. He’s a proven goalscorer and was very good for Swindon in this league last season”. He also went to say he was ‘impressed with his enthusiasm’. Jose expressed this enthusiasm telling the clubs official website: “I’m really glad to be here and cannot wait to get started”.
Ajose can offer Charlton goals as players in the squad at the moment usually struggle to get to double figures during the course of a season. Ajose works really well in a team, is physical in the box and works hard in all aspects of his game. If he yields these skills at Charlton he will score goals and lots of them. Charlton can offer Ajose a better chance of promotion as a striker who scores over 20 goals a season, he deserves to be in a team with high aspirations. Ajose said this himself when asked about his tally of goals his response was “I feel like if I can do something similar next year then it could end in promotion”.
So 4 attacking options are the only additions so far and Novak and Ajose sound like a league winning strike partnership. Yamfam will probably stay out of the first team for a while and make use of the good youth coaching staff and facilities to really reach his full potential. Holmes, as it stands, may only be used as a backup striker but if called upon for the starting 11 would feel comfortable performing.
Ajose and Novak may be the option Slade goes for as they have a notorious goalscoring ability. If they total half that amount it would still leave Charlton in good stead for a title push.
Ajose may prove to be the most important signing as if he was to get injured at the start of the season, it would leave Charlton struggling for firepower at the top of the field, yet Holmes or Novak should prove able to step up in his absence.
Defensive additions still need to be made to make this team stronger all round, but Slade, at the early stages of the summer window, seems to have got his attacking signings spot on which will leave most fans hoping The Addicks won’t be struggling for goals at all next season.
Featured Image – All Rights Reserved by Dan Westwell.