Novak in, Vetokele out
Another Addicks addition was complimented by a departure today. Charlton announced that Birmingham striker Lee Novak will join on July 1st on a 3-year contract. Meanwhile, although not officially announced, Igor Vetokele signed on a season long loan with a view to permanent transfer with Belgium side Zulte Waregem.
Novak was pretty sought after as I understand it, but chose to move south to SE7. I remember him as half of the Huddersfield strike force the season we both came up. That season Novak and Jordan Rhodes scored 49 goals between them. Novak spent last season in League One on loan at Chesterfield and scored 15 times in 38 games in a struggling side.
Like Ricky Holmes, Novak also came through the game the hard way playing for Gretna, Newcastle Blue Star and Gateshead before being snapped up by then Huddersfield boss and Geordie Lee Clark. Novak followed Clark to Birmingham City. Welcome Lee.
Meanwhile Igor, said to be one of the club’s biggest earners, after an injury hit year moves to the place of his birth, initially on loan. This may well mean that a fit and rejuvenated Igor could return next summer or more likely we have seen the last of him although Roland Duchatelet will be looking for a return on his investment as the Angolan international was trumpeted as our big name signing two summers ago when it was understood he signed for a fee of £2.4m.
Igor started on fire but then struggled for fitness with a never ending run of injuries. It often looked like he was forced back too early and suffered continuously with the pace of The Championship, even though he was no slouch. Fingers were certainly pointed at the club’s fitness team and the chain of head coaches who looked to him as the magic answer to our myriad of problems.
He always looked like he tried his utmost to me, but sadly his initial form was never realized and I think the way the club managed him did not help.
News of the signing of 25-goal Swindon striker Nicky Ajose looks a bit premature. The club’s may have agreed a £800,000 fee but there still seems a lot to do, and Ajose has many suitors.