After almost 300 appearances for Bristol Rovers, Tom Lockyer took the plunge this summer and left.
He swapped the club he’d served since his scholarship days for Charlton Athletic, promoted from League One after a play-off final win against Sunderland at Wembley.
It was a bold move for Lockyer; he’d been born in South Wales and always been in the west country. swapping that for the bright lights of London represented a big risk on his part.
Charlton might have earned promotion but they were rarely in the frame for a top two spot and the danger existed that they might simply collapse and be relegated. Key players, such as Patrick Bauer and Joe Aribo, left the club and Lockyer was part of the rebuild.
It’s fair to say he’s settled in well, perhaps even the signing of the summer as we explore below.
One problem Lee Bowyer had this summer was finding a replacement for Patrick Bauer. He was a behemoth for them last season, always on hand with a header or tackle when they needed him.
He had energy and strength and was the lynchpin of their defence. Replacing him was always going to be important, perhaps more so than any of their attacking players.
Lockyer has made the change as easy as it could be.
His stats are great already this season, pure and simple. A defender is employed to clear the ball, win tackles and stop goals; that’s the basic job description. Sure, they get forward too, they play out from the back, but stopping goals is their bread and butter.
Lockyer is making 7 interceptions per game, as well as winning 59% of his heading duels (stats courtesy of Wyscout).
He’s doing the basics and doing them well, which is exactly what he’s been brought in to do.
Increasing in value
Lockyer cost the Addicks nothing, but his value will be increasing all the time. He’s proving he’s more than adept in the second tier and that will keep scouts on their toes. His name will be scribbled in notebooks and that could land Charlton a big transfer fee.
They won’t want to sell him yet, but at 24-year-old he’s the right age to make a big move if his form continues.