Alfie Doughty’s future would appear to lie in the Championship and away from Charlton Athletic this month.
The flying left-sided player has been injured for a sizeable chunk of this season but it appears that has not deterred clubs from registering real interest in him this transfer window.
Indeed, Football Insider is reporting that Stoke City have won the race to get him this month but, crucially for the Addicks, Doughty will remain in SE7 until the end of the League One campagin.
Quoted by the South London Press, Charlton boss Lee Bowyer confirmed that whoever took the no.18 had already agreed to loan him straight back:
“Part of the deal is that Alfie will be coming back on loan.
“Alfie himself has said he has started the season with us and he’d like to finish it. He wants to be part of trying to help us finish as high as possible, which is good.”
It appears, then, that Stoke will be the side sending Doughty back for the remainder of the campaign once he has finished his recovery from injury.
And, that said, it’s at least some cushioning of a blow that Charlton fans may well have been braced for for some time.
Speculation has grown over Doughty in the last few months with his contract at Charlton expiring in the summer.
Indeed, the longer things went on the likelier it looked that he would be leaving, and so perhaps this news is of little surprise.
Bowyer, though, will be pleased that Doughty will still have a part to play this year as they challenge for promotion in League One, with the player one of the most exciting to watch in the third tier in full flow.
It’s a blow to lose him, but prolonging his actual departure for six months could help see the Addicks up.