Attacker Jonathan Leko says Birmingham City manager Lee Bowyer told him to rediscover his best form before allowing him to join Charlton Athletic this summer.
Leko’s time with Birmingham has been a frustrating one since he moved to St Andrew’s from West Brom last summer, with the 22-year-old yet to score or provide an assist in 41 appearances for the Blues.
The final day of the summer transfer window then saw Leko complete a season-long loan move back to Charlton, who he previously had a spell with in 2019, scoring five goals and providing four assists in 21 games for the Addicks, when Bowyer was in charge at The Valley.
Now it seems as though Bowyer, is hopeful that a return to Charlton will allow Leko to get back to his best over the coming campaign.
Speaking to CharltonTV about his discussion with the Birmingham manager prior to his return to The Valley, Leko revealed: “I spoke to Lee Bowyer before I came here; he was just like, ‘just go back there, play games and get back to where you were before.’. It’s been good.”
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It seems as though Leko has settled in well back at Charlton, as he went on to add: “The international break gives me a bit of time to meet all of the lads and to get all my stuff down and to get settled, so I’m happy about that.
“Saying hello to Jake (Forster-Caskey), Pearcey (Jason Pearce) and meeting all the new lads as well so I can’t wait.”
Leko could make his second debut for Charlton next Saturday, when host Cheltenham at The Valley.
This does seem like it could be a big opportunity for Leko during his second spell with Charlton.
Things have simply not worked out for Leko during his time with Birmingham so far, meaning it does seem as though he needs something to help kickstart his career again.
A move into League One is something that could help him to do that, particularly if he is able to play an important role in the Addicks’ anticipated push for promotion back to the Championship this season.
Indeed, the fact he already knows the club from his previous spell should make settling in easier for to do, particularly given he knows he has the backing of Bowyer, so it may be no huge surprise if he does make a big impact at The Valley in the coming campaign.