January’s transfer window has shown promise for Charlton in that they have made a number of signings. However, the main question is are they going to be able to fit in to what is a very challenging situation? Most of the players signed have no Championship experience so could be considered a bit of a gamble. There were also some players sold and released in this window and that could have a bearing on the remaining months of the current season.
First of all, although Charlton did indeed make a few signings, very few of them are on a permanent basis. One that has actually cost pound notes was Standard Liege defender Jorge Teixeira who signed a four and a half year deal with the Addicks. His first match was against Blackburn and considering the team had conceded 11 goals in their two previous matches, he definitely added some much needed stability and resilience to the defence. He will be a big part in the fight to stay up this season.
Still on the topic of Blackburn, Charlton also saw the return of Tony Watt, a big favourite with the fans. He returned from Cardiff who had recently been hit with a transfer embargo preventing them from signing the centre forward. It was great to see him inject some pace into our attack, which was only marginally stronger than our defence. We hoped that we would keep him until the end of the season as he is a player who has great insight to create something out of thin air. It turned out he had such a great game against Blackburn they managed to sign Watt just a few days later on loan with a permanent fee apparently already agreed for the end of the season. How Charlton will manage without him remains to be seen, and that responsibility may fall on the shoulders of our new loanee striker.
The London club also acquired Arsenal striker and former Crystal Palace loanee Yaya Sanago, but only until the end of the season. Whilst he doesn’t have that valuable Championship experience and he hasn’t been known too much for scoring goals in the past, we are yet to see what he can bring to Charlton’s relegation scrap. For the club’s sake, one of those things has to be goals. As a player who has struggled at Arsenal maybe he can prove his worth at Charlton much like Francis Coquelin did when he was loan at The Valley last season.
The other deadline day signing was Rod Fanni which was confirmed moments after Sanago’s arrival. The French right-back joins Charlton from Qatari club Al-Arabi SC on a six-month loan. Fanni is an experienced defender at 34 years of age, capped five times for France. Again though, he has no Championship experience but does have plenty of footballing experience so he may prove to be a leader in defence. This is exactly what the young Charlton back-line needs at the moment, someone to organise them on and off the pitch. Hopefully Rod Fanni can pass on some of his knowledge and experience to those around him.
Charlton have also released two players in the window, Ricardo Vaz-Te and Frank Moussa. Vaz-Te didn’t have as big an impact as fans had hoped and seemed to struggle with the pace of the game. Moussa hadn’t really had a chance to make an impression on the Championship this season because of being plagued by injuries. Both of these players leaving shouldn’t be a huge loss as decent cover for those positions left vacant already exist.
In conclusion, Charlton have only made one permanent signing in the January window in Teixeira and all the rest are loanees until the end of the season. This could be interpreted as a half-hearted attempt of avoiding relegation as the board haven’t had enough confidence to invest in permanent signings. Also, loaning (maybe selling) Tony Watt to Blackburn and releasing Vaz-Te and Moussa is reducing wage budgets. Is it possible the Addicks are already preparing for League One next season?
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