It’s a wrap as Lavelle and Leko join
As the clock turned 23.00 hours BST word got out that we had two final signings in the bag.
Then shortly after the hour 24-year old Morecambe captain Sam Lavelle, and old friend Jonathan Leko on loan from Lee Bowyer’s Birmingham were announced.
Lavelle comes match-ready and spent four seasons at Morecambe after coming through Blackburn Rovers’ academy. After moving to Bolton he was released due to their financial difficulties before landing on his feet at the Globe Arena. Lavelle has signed a 3-year deal and there was a fee.
Leko’s signing is a bit out of leftfield. Still only 22, Leko signed for Birmingham last August from West Brom for £1m and played 34 times, and has also been around Bow’s team this season as well. We remember him of course from our season in The Championship when his trickery and spontaneity made a real impression before his season was ended by an ACL injury and he returned to West Brom. The club also stood by him when he was racially abused by Leeds’ goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.
A marmite transfer window depending on which Addick you ask I think. On one hand I am happy that we didn’t resort to squad fillers from Premier League club’s academies like Matt Smith and Dylan Levitt. I accept Gallagher, Bielik and Cullen are real treasures and not easily discovered.
On the other hand I’m pleased that we have gone for loans with some form of pedigree – Famewo, Lee, Arter, Leko. That has to hold the squad in better stead, plus we still have one loan place available as opposed to having too many, which has been another issue in the past.
I’m also happy with the signing of Lavelle and Kirk, both tried and tested, but young and hungry with eyes wide open to the opportunity to play for a club like Charlton Athletic. It was my wish after last season that we signed a number more of this type of player, but we got two. I may have had the wool pulled over my eyes.
MacGillivray and Stockley will be, have to be, key to any success. My own jury is out on Clare, Dobson and Corey Blackett-Taylor may end up being a name to conjure with or a trivia question.
Mixed, although not terrible, but nonetheless the squad looks imbalanced and we are left crossing everything that Purrington and Stockley don’t get injured. Stockley has suddenly become indispensable, Purrington is not even fit, but there may well be left back free agents post window that become available that Gallen has on his radar.
We just have to hope that the decision not to bring in back up at left back does not repeat the same error of judgement of not bringing in a centre-back in January.
As for up top. Adkins clearly is putting his faith in Josh Davison as back up to Jayden, and also hoping or let us be positive, planning on Leko, Kirk, Lee, DJ, Gilbey, Washington, Clare and Blackett-Taylor each weigh in with 5, 8, 10 goals….
Leko adds a variety of options but his addition decidedly allows Adkins to play the style he tells us he wants with Stockley as the imposing spoiler up front with pace, width, skill and general irritants swarming all around him.
I’ve woken up this evening to realize how important the signing of Harry Arter is. He was crap at Forest by all accounts, but we need his legs, brain and ability to really thrive to make the whole thing work.
Adkins does now have a squad, there has been better, but certainly there has been worse, although it is a long way off from what we were signed up for. I have to say though I am convinced that those performances in the first four games, five if you count the League Cup was a wake up call for Thomas Sandgaard.
I didn’t see him admit to a mistake or even write a song about it, but I do think he went back to his fund manager and asked for more, because he horribly underestimated what it would take to pay for a competitive L1 team. He may have also noticed that supporters won’t accept competitive, we need promotion. And so does a winner like Thomas.
It’s a been a long day, but finally before I go to bed I want to congratulate a mostly very young and exciting Addicks’ team that thrashed Crawley Town tonight 6-1 in the Pizza Trophy. I had it on at work and if the attacking play we showed tonight is the undercard, then we should be in for some fun.