Newly promoted Charlton Athletic have announced the signing of defender Deji Oshilaja on a free transfer as they continue their preparations for a return to the Championship.
Having initially joined AFC Wimbledon on loan from Cardiff in 2015, the centre back returned to the League One side on a permanent basis in 2017, but became available on a free transfer this summer following the expiration of his contract at Kingsmeadow, and Charlton have taken advantage of that to sign the 26-year-old on a two year deal.
Speaking to Charlton’s official website following confirmation of the move, Oshilaja said: “Charlton is a great club with a great fanbase and I’m really excited to get going.
“I was here (The Valley) for the play-off semi-final and the atmosphere was buzzing then so I can’t wait to get started.”
Discussing his latest new signing, Addicks boss Lee Bowyer added: “I’m delighted. He’s another very good player.
“A leader, he was captain of his club last year so it’s becoming a trend. Our defenders are all leaders and winners.
“He’s a powerful boy and he can play all across the back. He’s very good in all those positions across the back, he’s versatile and that’s something we need.”
There will already be one familiar face in the Charlton squad for Oshilaja when he meets his new teammates, with the centre back having previously played with Lyle Taylor at Wimbledon, prior to the striker’s move to the Valley last summer.
Oshilaja now becomes Charlton’s sixth signing of the summer, following the likes of Chuks Aneke, Macauley Boone, Tom Lockyer, Ben Purrington and Ben Amos in making the move to the Valley, while Jonny Williams has also returned to the club following his successful spell with the Addicks in the second half of last season.
This is probably a good move for Charlton.
The Addicks are short on numbers currently heading into the new season in all positions, so this will help to cover them in defence at least.
Although not previously tested at this level, you feel Oshilaja could still provide a decent option for the club from the bench, or when stepping in should injuries and suspensions leave Lee Bowyer struggling for numbers in defence.
The fact that this s a free transfer as well also seems to suit Charlton, both in terms of reducing the financial risk should it backfire, and leaving funds available for the club to invest in other areas of the squad between now and the start of the season.