Thursday, December 21, 2006

Darren Bent and The January Transfer Window

It's now common knowledge that Charlton will be attempting to turn their season around by making signings in the January transfer window. Richard Murray, Peter Varney, and Les Reed have all been quoted as saying that there is some wheeling and dealing to do, and money will be made available. The big question though, is -
Should Charlton sell Darren Bent?

In my opinion, the absolute answer is NO!

There are two real scenarios -

1. Sell Bent for whatever we can get for him (maybe up to £10m?) and spend this money on replacements that may be able to get us out of the predicament that we are in, or
2. Sell Dazza after the end of the season if (when?) we have been relegated to offset the loss of revenue from being in The Championship.

The problem I foresee with the first option is that should Dazza go, and we get, say, £10m, and we spend all of that money (with no reason not to...) on three or four new players, then those players would be like a mill-stone around Charlton's necks come end of season if we still go down. The transfer fees we would have paid for them would have been inflated (as the selling clubs would know we had a big cheque burning a hole in our pocket), and if we could then sell them at season end (no guarantee), we would definitely be making a loss on what we paid. I don't think Charlton can afford to do that if they are relegated. We would also have the problem of paying three/four (£20k?) salaries instead of Dazza's reputed £25k a week.

In my opinion, we should keep hold of Dazza for as long as we possibly can; he may be playing rubbish at the moment (as is the rest of the team) but he is one of our better young players, and one who could possibly get us out of trouble if we can start to get the ball in to him in the right positions.

Only at season end, if relegated, would I then countenance him being sold. I don't see it as taken that his selling fee then would be lower then than in January either. With Manchester United, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, West Ham, Spurs, Arsenal, and others all reputed to be intersted in signing him, a summer bidding war could actually end up with Charlton making a financial killing on the player.

Hopefully, we will survive in the Premiership this season, and any thought of selling Bent will recede, although I'm sure we will get plenty of offers in the summer anyway, whatever happens.

Whatever the outcome, we need to support Little Benty over the next few games, as he is one of our few chances of getting out of this mess.

I would like to see a strategy to keep Bent even if we went down, Palarse did it with AJ and still picked up £8.5 m after a poor season in the Championship. I doubt anyway at the moment we would get more than £6.5 mill, our poor form has stunted his development. the critical thing will be to clear out the dead and static wood and replace it with some triers to try and keep us in the prem, but if not would fight for us in the Championship. Looks like Walton will be hailed as returning hero on 2nd Jan
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