Why do Charlton need more signings to reignite their Championship ambition?
Charlton’s attempt to get back into the Championship suffered an early blow as they picked up one point in their first two games of the season. They lost 2-0 to Bury away, then drew at home to Northampton. These results alone made everyone involved with the club realise that League One may be a bigger task than first thought.
Many fans thought that the Reds had made enough summer acquisitions that the team that suffered relegation was now equipped for an instant bounce-back. Charlton’s attacking front looks solid, even if the bench and reserves were looking a little dry of talent. The team look set to be really strong, however, a week before the new season Slade said he was still hoping to sign “five or six” more players before the start of the season.
This all changed when Charlton sold around five or six players including Jordan Cousins, Gudmundson, and Stephen Henderson along with others on loan to other clubs like Tony Watt. These exits happened so quickly, one after another, became a massive setback especially when out of the six signings Slade targeted, he had only completed four so far in Andrew Crofts, Kevin Foley, Jason Pearce and Declan Rudd, none of which are currently signed for longer than a year, with the exception of Pearce who is on a 3 year deal. Slade may be right, Charlton need an additional three signings to deal with the recent loss of players.
Charlton have done very well with attacking signings. Nicky Ajose, Lee Novak, and Ricky Holmes are all great additions to the squad and that particular part of the squad seems strong enough despite the poor showing upfront against Bury.
Slade has said, according to the News Shopper, that he hoped to sign a new player before their match against Cheltenham in the first round of the cup. He wouldn’t give anything else away but rumours of striker Josh Magennis joining the club proved to be true with the Northern Ireland international signing on a two-year deal, this signing came as a surprise with other areas of the squad needing more attention. Slade says he will give the team ‘presence’ up front which fans feel The Addicks already have enough of in Ajose and Novak.
The midfield, as predicted, was noticeably suffering without Cousins and Gudmundson and while Rick Holmes shone on the right in Gudmundson’s spot Andrew Crofts and Kevin Foley weren’t getting themselves stuck in as much and an element of passion and desire seemed to be missing.
Both are potentially short-term replacements for the injured Ahmed Kashi but another central midfielder needs to be signed especially if Charlton continue to play a formation with 3 central midfielders. Hopefully, Foley will be a back up to Solly as a fullback, Johnnie Jackson will remain as a leader in the squad while Crofts will have an impact from the bench.
As a replacement for Crofts, Slade may follow up his interest in Scunthorpe midfielder Stephen Dawson, especially as the pair have previously worked together at Orient. According to the Evening Standard, Slade believes Dawson has attributes that will help the Addicks push for promotion while he may also be a better option than Andrew Crofts until Kashi returns from injury.
Defensively, Charlton also look thin on the ground with Patrick Bauer, Harry Lennon, and Alou Diarra all out injured. If Foley operates as a backup right-back to Chris Solly and Morgan Fox stays on the left even though a new signing may be needed, Tareq Holmes-Dennis will provide backup to Fox.
The centre-back position is where the problem lies. Even though The Addicks made a great signing in Jason Pearce, who won the league with Wigan last term, Roger Johnson really drags down the defence with his sloppiness. Keeping Pearce in the squad is vital despite his basic error giving away a penalty against Bury but a replacement for Roger Johnson is definitely needed.
Former Charlton youngster Michael Turner is a vocal team leader at the back and his strong and confident with the ball. According to South London Press, Slade was interested in him when he was first appointed as manager and as the defender is now rumoured to be available on a free transfer, his acquisition would shore up a shaky defence.
Speaking of Norwich, Charlton signed Declan Rudd from the Canaries on a season-long loan. This was a great bit of business as Rudd looks to be a great keeper. Having Dillon Phillips as a backup keeper is fine but 1 more keeper should be brought in to make up for the loss of 2 keepers this summer.
Alex Cisak, a former player of Slade’s would provide solid back-up. The Leyton Orient shot-stopper made 12 clean sheets last season.
The only reason another striker should be brought in is if Ademola Lookman decides he wants to leave Charlton, which is very unlikely as he’s signed a long-term deal although it hasn’t stopped Liverpool keeping close tabs on him. The midfield needs to be refined while the defence could do with strengthening.
The strikers were getting long balls up to them all game and no real attempt at passing their way up the pitch in the first two games of the season. This didn’t lead to many chances so that needs to change. Charlton need to have their squad complete ideally before the window shuts and if Slade proceeds to bring in the players he wants the style of football should change for the better leading Charlton close to that top two finish.
Featured Image – All Rights Reserved by Steven Rittey
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