Charlton boss Appleton explains why free transfer striker signings have been avoided

Michael Appleton believes it would have been too risky for Charlton Athletic to enter the free agent market to address their striker crisis.

Chuks Aneke suffered a hamstring injury in October, which is projected to keep the big frontman out until the start of 2024.

However, head coach Appleton has explained why the League One team did not sign any free agents.

According to the South London Press, Charlton were approached about former player Lyle Taylor, who departed Nottingham Forest in the summer.

Last Monday, the Montserrat international agreed to a short-term contract with Wycombe Wanderers.

Taylor, 33, scored 25 goals in Charlton’s League One play-off victory in 2019.

He scored 11 goals the following season but refused to play when the Championship season restarted behind closed doors following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Taylor stated that he was in danger of injuring himself, which would limit his options when his contract expired at the end of June.

The former AFC Wimbledon forward’s absence was felt deeply as the Addicks were relegated on the last day.


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“The big issue I’ve got right now at this time of the year with free agents is game time and being fit,” Appleton told the South London Press. “It would be a little bit different if it was a week, two weeks or even three weeks after the window had shut, because you have still got at least three months to get them up to speed and playing regularly or around your team.

“Taking free agents now is a bit of a risk because they haven’t played for so long. They might’ve played in one or two behind-closed-doors games but having the confidence to bring them into the group – and up to speed straight away – would be a little bit of a concern.

“It’s one of those that I never say never, but it’s not something we’d probably look to do now. It might be something we look to do after the January window is shut – players who have been at a club and playing reasonably regularly up to January.

“You have got to be careful. You tend to take players – I’ve done it in the past – thinking you are going to get the player that they were or potentially were the previous season.

“They come in, get injured and then you are back to square one.

“To be fair we have got young players and players that excite me going forward. I know they are not going to be anywhere near the finished article – either now, in six months time or even maybe 12 months – but we have got the likes of Micah Mbick, who came off the bench last week in the FA Cup.

“He has trained with us a few times now and I could quite easily have had him with us on Tuesday night (for the 3-0 EFL Trophy win over Sutton) but the youth team have a FA Cup tie on Thursday (last night).

“ I felt it was important for him to play in that and stay part of that group as well, at times.

“We have got one or two options that we are more than happy with up until we get to that January period.”

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