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.
Great balanced summary CA and l can’t argue with any of that. Leftback was possibly the priority position to reinforce so it is strange that all our hopes (and prayers) rest with Gunter until Purrington is back up to speed and providing cover/competition. If Chris played as he did against Crewe on a consistent basis then it wouldn’t be as much of a concern. He deserves credit for his most recent performance and l hope he has turned a corner. CB is an important position to fill and Lavelle could be a very shrewd signing at this level. It will be a miracle if Inniss can be nursed through a whole season without injury. As much as l like JP, last night he showed once again how he was beaten for pace and resorted once again to hauling down a player. Hopefully that was just rustiness. As for Leko, the step down to L1 could help him find consistency too and show what he can do. Whatever our thoughts are about our recruitment during this transfer window, l think Steve Gallen should be commended for the effort that he will have put in behind the scenes to fill the spaces on what sounds like a strict budget. At least there are signs that a few permanent signings are being made and that will take time. However, there are lessons to be learned from this. I acknowledge what TS has done for the club in a very short time but he will have had his eyes opened about the £££££ involved in running a club, even in L1, and he might think twice in future about making rash statements. Better to always under promise and over deliver! No excuses now though. Its up to NA to put all the pieces together and make it work if he is to deliver on his own poorly considered promise about promotion. We have certainly given ourselves a much better chance now even though there is a points gap to close, which is something l feared by leaving recruitment to the last moment. COYR!
positives for sure, but I can’t help thinking the crew game was a one-off for Gunter, and we are going to regret not signing a left-back, but there are a couple of free agents available so we may see some movement… one can hope
Good summary CA and also NR, agree with everything you both have said.
Lets now see if the first team can perform as well as last night including trying to look for passes forward rather than backwards and moving forward with pace.
Some excellent performances last night especially from a 17 year old centre back, our new signing Eilliot Lee plus Clare and Blackett Taylor, lets now hope the latter two can perform as well in league games against harder oppostion! Also not to forget Harness who played really well in goal and looked assured, in fact his kicking was far more accurate than MacGillivray, who seems to sky every ball into the air rather than trying to find a Charlton player.
As NR has implied the only downside, was Pearce trademark of dragging one player down to give Crawley Town in a free kick in a dangerous area and receiving a yellow card and also giving away a needless penalty. Lets hope with the new players and some of our own younger players coming through and starting to perform well, he will now be just used as an emergency along with Watson, both who are now well past there best.
overall it’s a thumbs up but the lack of a LB and another goalscorer feel like they will bite us in the butt.