Tom Wallin gives us his thoughts on potential activity in the summer transfer market after the release of four members of the playing staff.
Charlton today announced the news that four more players were to be released this summer. Ricardo Fuller, Scott Wagstaff, Matt Taylor and Salim Kerkar join John Sullivan and Yado Mambo, whose release from the club was revealed earlier this week.
On the day that has seen Sir Alex Ferguson, renowned for his quick movement in the transfer market, retire from his post as Manchester United manager after 26 years at the helm; it appears that Powell might be eager to take the ‘quick business’ mantle from his significant senior.
What is immediately apparent is that the players who have been released today all play in positions that many believed needed strengthening already. By releasing these players, several fans will be hoping that Powell is opening up space for some new signings over the forthcoming weeks.
Both Wagstaff, who graduated the club’s youth set-up, and Salim Kerkar, are both wide players, and their release leaves the Addicks with visible gaps to plug. Johnnie Jackson has moved into the middle of the pitch this season with outstanding results, and Danny Green hasn’t set the world alight when given the opportunity out wide. Whilst Bradley Pritchard’s work ethic cannot be faulted, he’s not a player known for his pace, and Powell will need to address this.
The emergence of Callum Harriott towards the end of this season will please many, whilst rumours of a new contract for Danny Haynes will always offer cover for this position. However, the former is still young, and the latter’s hamstrings are far from perfect, and therefore new signings will be expected. Lee Martin has been released by Ipswich, but his performances were unpredictable during his previous loan spell with the Addicks. Powell may look to the likes of Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who has impressed at recently relegated Peterborough. On the other hand, QPR may be looking to offload players following their relegation to the second tier, and the likes of Junior Hoilett may offer an interesting alternative.
Matt Taylor was a formidable force throughout Charlton’s League One title win, but a combination of injuries and impressive performances from Leon Cort and Dorian Dervite have meant that he has fallen down the pecking order in the Championship. Having said this, the clubs decision, alongside the release of Mambo, leaves just Morrison, Cort, and Dervite as first-team centre backs. Powell has a history of looking at lower leagues for new signings, and Joe Devera has impressed at Swindon in League One this season. If Powell looks at proven Championship players, Matt Mills only recently returned from injury at Bolton, and perhaps his desire to play Premier League football may be better suited with Charlton ahead of next season. Despite their dreadful season, Middlesbrough centre back Seb Hines has stood out as a good young player, and might provide a different option to the Addicks’ current crop.
Fuller, at times, has shown glimpses of his Premier League class. Unfortunately, the likes of his goal against Peterborough and his performance at Crystal Palace have been overshadowed by constant injury troubles. Combined with rumours of a large wage, clearly Powell wants a more reliable figure at the club for next season. Kermorgant is almost guaranteed a regular start, whilst if Powell can secure the permanent services of Obika, many fans will be confident of a strong partnership building through the next campaign. With Haynes’ injury troubles, fans would hope that one or two extra strikers will arrive at the club.
Perhaps Powell will chose to look into his youth set-up, with Joe Pigott, Ade Azeez and Michael Smith all impressing in a phenomenal season for Charlton’s Under 21 and Development squads. Alternatively, fans are suggesting that Kevin Doyle would make a good addition, and his individual performances have been strong for a poor Wolves side this season.
Powell and his network have always gone about their business concisely and shrewdly, whether they’ve been busy or quiet. Despite the need to strengthen these areas in the summer, fans can expect the same from Powell and his staff once the transfer window opens.
Players like Kermorgant, Pritchard and Dervite (to name a few) would not have been on many fans lips ahead of their signings, but every one of them has secured starting places this season, and have all impressed in the Championship. Powell has shown that he knows how to play the market, and fans can be excited to see his latest crop arrive throughout the summer.