Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Deadline Day

I have to say that this is the most adrenaline filled transfer deadline day I have felt as a Charlton supporter for about five years, since Scott Parker was in fact sold. That happened in the January window, and two years later, we all had the same sort of sinking feeling when Danny Murphy left the club just before the witching hour.

Since then, it has been a case of who might sign for the club, rather than who might leave, especially when Alan Pardew was manager. Now, though, with valuable assets in Jonjo Shelvey and Nicky Bailey on board, the onus is on Charlton to keep them, and not have to sell to a high bidding club. Other player assets may also be attracting offers, and hopefully they would not include Therry Racon, Lloyd Sam, or Jose Semedo.

It is known that various offers were received in recent weeks for Izale McLeod, Stuart Fleetwood, and Chris Dickson (left), so possible outward movement could happen involving those two players, especially Dickson’s lengthy link with Gillingham. Fleetwood, who finally made his bow in a Charlton shirt at Hereford, is linked again today with Exeter, and McLeod was linked last month with Hearts.

It is also possible that the Addicks will try to get some experience for one of their youngsters, and a move on loan could be afoot for first-year professional Jack Clark.

The rumour mill has Charlton looking to sign both Luke Holden, a 20-year-old left winger at Rhyl, though that move may now be off, and Leon McKenzie, a free agent who has been at Coventry over recent seasons. Both transfers have apparently reached the advanced stages, so could be pushed through before 5pm today. Also in the frame, according to some reports, is centre back Sam Sodje, another free agent, who Charlton had on loan a couple of years back. Sodje was surplus to requirements at Reading, and his contract ran down with that loan spell in SE7 followed last year by another at Leeds. With centre back cover desperately needed, local lad Sodje would be an acceptable signing, and should be able to play alongside both Christian Dailly and Miguel Llera whenever required.

Free agents can of course be signed at any time, so there is no big rush to get Sodje or McKenzie tied to deals today, other than the worry that, if we want them, they might sign elsewhere. In addition, loan deals can be arranged from next week, so if there is a lack of actual signings today, then the loan route is one we can take advantage of should we wish later in the month.

One last point, the Charlton Athletic Online post of August 6th carried photos of both Sodje and McKenzie, and intimated at that time that both could prove useful additions to the Addicks squad. I can assure readers that this was not privileged information, but I guess sometimes you just get lucky!


Update at 3pm - Mootaouakil has joined Motherwell on loan for the season.

4.07 update: They're all off to Scotland - Zheng Zhi will sign for Celtic in the near future, though as he is a free agent, it doesn't have to be completed today.

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