The mysterious case of Lewis Page
Ben Purrington maybe the 7/10 no headlines player, but he will be missed greatly at Fulham on Saturday when Lee Bowyer will turn to either Deji Oshilaja or probably Naby Sarr in a back three as we take on the threat of the joint leading goal scorers.
Bowyer described the absence of Lewis Page as “mind boggling.” The 23-year old has not played for over a year after beginning last season so well showing tenacity and a real threat going forward, and quickly becoming popular with Addicks.
It was a groin injury that sidelined him last October, made to play perhaps one game to many to cover a skeletal squad. That injury kept him out until the end of last spring but Page did return for pre-season, but then suffered with a hamstring injury 10 minutes into a friendly at Gillingham. This just 10 days after Ben Purrington was signed to give him competition for the left-back spot.
After making 34 appearances during the 2016/17 season he was forced to have a hamstring operation in May 2017 and missed 12 months which also included an achilles problem on his comeback trail. Eventually he made his return at home to Blackpool in March 2018, but was carried off unconscious after 20-odd minutes following a collision. You couldn’t make it up we all said as we saw him poleaxed in the box!
Yet 10 days later he was back and scored a screamer in Lee Bowyer’s first game against Plymouth.
Bowyer, as frustrated as he is now, was clearly a fan, as he and Steve Gallen convinced Roland Duchatelet to offer Page a new contract last November, but as Bow said today that contract has an automatic extension only if he makes so many appearances. That sounds unlikely.
Another couple of mysterious players are Brighton pair Beram Kayal and Tomer Hemed. Kayal was signed on deadline day and has featured just 12 minutes for the Addicks, although he did play 75 minutes for Israel in early September just after we were told he was carrying an injury. Hemed was not helped by his pro-longed transfer and was rushed into the team to replace Lyle Taylor.
Hemed is also out currently, although he did post on social media on Wednesday that he and his Israeli friend and team mate are “almost there.”
Bowyer has said on numerous occasions he is prepared to wait, and both of these two could have a big influence on us in the latter part of the season. Brighton fans were very complimentary to both players, but Bowyer is a fitness nut and will demand nothing less than total commitment from the two Israeli’s despite their higher profile.