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Made in Charlton

It was great to see Ademola Lookman score for Everton yesterday. I was thrilled for the lovely young man. Every Addick can be rightly proud that he was ‘Made in Charlton’. It was equally as good to see Joe Gomez return from his long term injury for Liverpool last week in the FA Cup, and he too was on the bench yesterday at Old Trafford. It can be impossible to keep these players from moving to the next level, particularly when Charlton appears to be low on ambition, and the reality is that we have become a middling League One club.

I think under Robinson, if he is allowed a longer term to influence young prospects, we may see academy players stay to play closer to a century of games. Of course we know Katrien Meire’s view on moving our best young players on, and for Roland Duchatelet, it is just a way to make money for his network project.

There may have been more chatter on future training ground developments, this time from Robinson, but the facts are that Duchatelet has thus far committed very little money towards improving Sparrows Lane, and therefore the emergence of new talent.

I cannot see one iota of evidence that Duchatelet’s network has been a positive influence on Charlton’s academy. The magnificent Steve Avory plus Sergei Baltacha and Jason Euell were all there before the Belgian’s showed up, and they and their dedicated staff should take all of the credit for either making boys into talented professionals like Gomez, or polishing raw talent into sparkling prospects like Lookman.

Of course we have always sold our best young players when at some point we are unable to match their ambitions, their ability or the club needed the cash.

As a boy I was devastated when Derek Hales went to Derby, but we had seen the best of him. I was probably more upset that Paul Walsh went to Luton for £400,000, but he was ambitious, Luton were in the top tier and on the up, and as always we needed the money.

My gripe now, particularly the way the academy is help funded by Valley Gold, is that we never get to see these academy players develop in our first team. Even Walsh played 98 first team games. I doubt very much if Joe Aribo or Ezri Konsa will make anywhere near as many appearances than Walsh, or even Jordan Cousins or Morgan Fox.

Cousins and Fox never burst onto the scene like a Lookman did, they were slow burners but mutually club and player both benefited from the experience. Diego Poyet is the antithesis of a Cousins or Fox.

For interest I have listed some of the more high profile young players that have been sold on in my time as a Charlton fan with their first team appearances next to their name.

Interstingly the player who went on to have the most glittering career, also played the most games for us before he was sold.

Lee 314
Flanagan 254*
Minto 180
Fortune 166
Hales 129*
Cousins 125
Wagstaff 120
Sam 119
Parker 116
Konchesky 104
Fox 103
Walsh 98
R Elliot 96
Harriott 86
P Elliott 63
Bowyer 57
Basey 46
Lookman 45
Shelvey 40
Pope 33
Barness 27
Gomez 21
Poyet 20
Randolph 14
Jenkinson 8
Holmes Dennis 5
Defoe 0

*first spell

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wyn Grant #

    Didn’t we get some compensation for Judas?

    January 17, 2017
  2. martin edwards #

    I thought we bought Flanagan from spurs. I remember the abuse when he scored against them in the cup

    January 17, 2017
    • Martin – you are right we did, although he was 19 and there was no fee I don’t think. Hales mind you was 21 when we bought him from Luton and I think that cost us a few shekels!

      January 17, 2017
  3. BC #

    Under this regime we have a huge churn of players, young and old. The only criteria seems to be how much we can sell them for. So every transfer window we start again and it takes weeks to establish a settled side, by which time we’re into mid-table obscurity at best. So even if this season turns out to be successful, we would end up selling the best players, who had achieved the success. And so it goes on.
    A 2-year plan is the only way forward, but it will be hard for players to buy into this due to the long term damage caused by this regime.
    You can’t blame the players for wanting to get out at the earliest opportunity.
    The biggest mystery is why such an astute businessman that I assume Roland is, can’t see the financial benefits of a sustainable long term plan.

    January 17, 2017
    • BC – nail on head.

      On Saturday we saw another tranche of new players. In the summer there will be another turnover. If we don’t go up I suspect Aribo, Konsa, Magennis, Holmes, Tex, Bauer could all be sold. Plus the loans disappear and we start all over again.

      Shocking stewardship and management it really is.

      January 17, 2017
      • martin edwards #

        This is the question no one asks of KM. Does the manager have any say in who we sell?? or as the quote from KM in L’echo article states
        “Je négocie moi-même tous les transferts” Roughly translated is
        “I negotiate all the transfers myself”.
        “People do not leave bad companies they leave bad management”

        January 17, 2017
        • They do, which was one of the reasons Watt wanted out. Now he cannot be easy to manage, yet he is more than able to witness pitiful governance when he sees it.

          Robinson talked of a committee for players that he wanted to buy when he joined. We can now identify some of the members of that committee and of course done properly, that is just good polity.

          But selling players is a different question. I would say Robinson will get listened too, but mostly ignored. He said as much after Lookman left.

          January 17, 2017
  4. BC #

    If we start believing what KM says, we really are all in the madhouse!

    January 17, 2017
  5. howard lambie #

    I’ve seen it mentioned in the press: Charlton Athletic, a club with no ambition. I think this sums us up. We all wonder what Douchelet’s plan is. It’s jog along mid table, sell promising players, pocket the money. That’s why he never watches us. Why bother, we’re not going anywhere. Which is why after 60 years of supporting I’ve stopped going. I’ll be back when he’s gone.

    January 17, 2017
  6. #

    I remember both the Mickey Bennett and Gordon Watson transfers being a kick in the teeth.

    Bennett went to Wimbledon on 5 Jan 1990 after playing 35 times ( he scored a debut winning goal for the Dons at Plough Lane V Arsenal). Sold to a top flight rival.

    Watson went to Sheffield Wednesday in 1991 after playing 31 times for the Addicks.

    January 19, 2017

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