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3 defensive upgrades Charlton Athletic should consider this summer

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Ben Garner and the Charlton Athletic recruitment team have a lot of work to do between now and the closing exchanges of pre-season to give themselves a chance of competing towards the top six in League One next season.

Jason Pearce left at the end of his contract, the club did not opt to trigger the option to buy clause in Akin Famewo’s loan move from Norwich City and Ben Purrington‘s future is still up in the air with contract negotiations taking place in the last few weeks.

Therefore, defensive reinforcements are needed, and even more so with Garner set to implement a possession-based style of play involving playing out from the back.

Sam Lavelle and Ryan Inniss are the only senior centre backs contracted to the club at the moment, and the latter is far from suited to receiving the ball off of his goalkeeper.

Deji Elerewe, Nazir Bakrin and potentially Charlie Barker will likely head off on the club’s pre-season tour with the first team, but it remains to be seen whether either of the trio will be able to establish themselves as regular features in League One next term.

Here, we have taken a look at three defensive upgrades Charlton should consider this summer…

Ali Koiki

With no confirmed senior left back at the club, just six days before pre-season, Northampton Town’s Ali Koiki could be targeted this summer.

The 22-year-old played a starring role in the Cobblers’ fourth placed finish in League Two last season, and has the physical profile to adjust to a higher level.

The Londoner made 50 appearances for Jon Brady’s men in 2021/22 and could receive interest from third tier clubs this summer, he has one year remaining on his deal at Sixfields Stadium.

Paudie O’Connor

Paudie O’Connor has been one of the more consistent centre backs in League Two over the last few seasons and is available on a free transfer this summer, after his deal expired at Bradford City.

The 24-year-old is ready for the step up to League One and could slot in nicely alongside Sam Lavelle at the heart of defence.

Even if Ryan Inniss does remain a key first team defender next season, which is hard to justify if the club want to compete for a top six spot, you cannot rely on his fitness and for that reason centre backs need to be acquired as soon as possible, to give them time to adjust to Garner’s demanding style of play.

Ellis Iandolo

Ellis Iandolo chipped in with eight assists in all competitions for Swindon Town last season at left back.

The 24-year-old was a standout performer in the club’s play-off semi final against Port Vale, before cruelly missing from 12 yards as the Robins were denied a trip to Wembley.

With Purrington’s future still uncertain, Iandolo offer a younger alternative who has worked successfully under Garner for a season and could step up seamlessly to the third tier.


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 defensive upgrades Charlton Athletic should consider this summer

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