Charlton key man Patrick Bauer signed for Preston yesterday, leaving The Addicks with just two first team centre-backs contracted beyond June.
In fact, Charlton have less than 10 first team players at the club, so it will be a busy summer ahead for Lee Bowyer and Steve Gallen.
It is important that the club bring in players with Championship experience and quality, that is vital to them staying up and doing well next season – but they will have to act fast if they are going to get bargains.
Here are three suitable replacements for the formidable Bauer.
Lynch is in many ways the perfect signing for Charlton right now. He is a consistent Championship performer and his addition would bring a calmness to the Addicks backline.
Last year he averaged 6.6 clearances per game, the sixth highest of any defender in the Championship, which makes it surprising that QPR released him.
Nevertheless, their loss could be Charlton’s gain, and to pick up someone of Lynch’s calibre on a free would be an excellent bargain signing. He may be 31 but he played 37 times last season and could quickly become a key man at The Valley.
Charlton would do very well to sign Pennington, who is very highly rated by Everton and several otter Championship sides, including Stoke.
Last year he really impressed in a struggling Ipswich side, and ranked second for average interceptions per match with 2.7. He has the physical presence to really dominate Championship strikers too and with a full season under his belt he could stamp his authority on the division next season.
The only problem Charlton would have is the difficulty in signing him. They are most likely to get him on loan unless the take-over provides them with an influx of money. If a loan is the only option they should definitely go for it as he is an ideal Bauer replacement in terms of physical presence and passing ability.
Lockyer came through the Rovers academy and has never looked back. He is constantly improving and his highly impressive season led to a call-up to the Wales national team.
The club will know all about him too, having come up against him twice in League One last season. He is a young player and would be perfect for Bowyer to take under his wing. If they bring him in alongside a more experienced defender like Lynch then Charlton will have an ideal partnership.