Charlton Athletic are drifting down a familiar looking road as the January transfer window approaches.
After suffering relegation last term things are looking positive on the pitch for the Addicks as Lee Bowyer’s side find themselves firmly in contention for an immediate return to the Championship.
Unfortunately off the pitch things are in a usual state of disarray.
The controversy surrounding the ownership of the club has clearly been a big issue in recent years, but one knock-on effect of that is the impact that it has on the club’s approach to the transfer market.
Charlton have recruited well over recent campaigns as they look to their youth set-up and others in the EFL to bring in young, talented and affordable talent to the Valley.
But as we know, money talks in the end.
An ongoing source of frustration this term has been the situation regarding Alfie Doughty’s future.
The 20-year-old has made over 40 appearances for Charlton since bursting onto the first team scene where he has been a regular feature this term.
However with the Addicks now reaping the benefits of his fine displays it seems that his days at The Valley could be numbered.
Doughty is out of contract at the end of the season and with Celtic emerging as an interested party it means that the youngster has a decision to make.
With the Bhoys being based outside of England they have the opportunity to open talks with Doughty at the start of January, meaning that Charlton’s window of opportunity is reducing by the day.
Bowyer is insistent that the club have offered him a contract, but with no deal yet signed it seems increasingly likely that he’ll move on – whether it’s to Celtic or elsewhere.
Do you love Charlton Athletic? Here’s 19 basic questions about the Addicks that almost every fan of the club should be getting right
It’s a situation that strikes a resounding similarity with Joe Aribo two years ago.
The midfielder was in an identical situation when Rangers came knocking to secure his signature – a move which was ultimately completed at the end of the 2018-19 season after the club secured promotion.
It then happened again last term with Lyle Taylor who headed to Nottingham Forest.
While of course Charlton’s resources will pale in comparison to the clubs mentioned, the question has to be asked about how these valuable assets are being allowed to leave for next-to nothing.
The Addicks should have been tying these players down to long-term contracts when they had the chance.
You perhaps can’t do anything about this level of club coming knocking for your players, but to be in a position where these players leave for free is a travesty – particularly when Aribo, Taylor and Doughty would arguably be worth around £20million combined.
To keep losing players of this value for nothing is incredibly poor business, and unfortunately for the Addicks, it looks increasingly likely that Doughty will be added to the list of players who move on for a fraction of their true value.