Charlton Athletic’s January transfer window: Creative spark needed to compliment new-found stability

3 min

Since Johnnie Jackson took temporary charge in October, Charlton Athletic have been in fine form – losing just once in nine league games and reaching the FA Cup Third Round.

Jackson has been largely consistent in his team selection throughout this period, only making changes due to injuries or suspensions with many players rewarding the faith placed in them by stepping up performances.

However, despite a settled starting XI, Charlton are still lacking a creative spark so may be tempted to delve into the January transfer window should the right player become available on the right terms.

An attacking midfielder who can play between the lines and move opposition players out of position while still having an eye for a penetrative pass would bring an added dimension to their already effective wing-based approach.

Elliot Lee has also been a revelation in the middle of the park since joining on loan from Luton with his ability to keep the ball, beat players and set-piece expertise particularly impressive.

With the 26-year-old appearing to not be part of Luton’s long-term plans and the obvious familial connection through his father, a deal could possibly be struck to make his Valley stay a more permanent one.

Another loan star who has impressed since rejoining from Norwich on a season-long loan deal is Akin Famewo and, with the club having an option to buy, it may well be the perfect opportunity to tie the defender down permanently.

With Jason Pearce and Chris Gunter in the twilight of their careers and Adam Matthews and Pape Souare injury prone, Famewo would represent the future of the back four alongside academy product Deji Elerewe and Sam Lavelle once the latter returns from long-term injury.

Elsewhere, Conor Washington appears to have put his own niggling injuries behind him to form a successful partnership with Jayden Stockley with his brace against Cambridge taking his tally to seven from 18 league games.

Although out of contract next summer, the Northern Irish international has gained a new lease of life in a system he is clearly relishing under Jackson and it would be worth considering offering the forward a contract extension. 

The suggestion is particularly pertinent when considering Charlton’s lack of depth upfront – abundantly clear with Stockley’s recent suspension which saw Josh Davison bought into the team with mixed fortunes.

READ MORE: Thomas Sandgaard needs to stop over-thinking Charlton Athletic’s next permanent manager

Whilst Davison provided some physicality and a target for long balls, he did not possess the same effective hold-up play and finishing Stockley provides and, with this in mind, perhaps another loan move away would help the youngster’s development.

Jackson clearly has a plan of what he wants in terms of recruitment but as interim manager the ultimate question has to be whether he will be able to implement it?

Therefore, perhaps the biggest signing of the window would be the announcement of a permanent Charlton Athletic manager with Jackson more than earning his chance based on results.

The idea of a young, up-and-coming manager in Jackson taking permanent control also echoes owner Thomas Sandgaard’s desire to recruit very young players to develop over a long period of time before moving on for profit.

After last summer’s hectic recruitment policy, expect a quieter window where quality as opposed to quantity will be key – focusing on those already at the club in order to preserve stability while perhaps making a few shrewd loan deals to continue the upward trajectory.

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