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Charlton have had a surprisingly good start to the season, and have picked up some brilliant results in the first 11 games that has seen them challenge near the top end of the table rather than the bottom.
The Addicks have beaten sides such as Leeds United at the Valley, and on Saturday showed their true Championship credentials when they picked up a point away at a very strong Fulham side.
Lee Bowyer has worked wonders since his arrival, and that only seems to be continuing. A major part to this is the shrewd business that was done by Charlton in the summer transfer window.
The club didn’t spend big but brought in some quality acquisitions as there were certain voids to fill including a major one left by Arsenal loanee Krystian Bielik. He returned to the Gunners and was then sold to Championship rivals, Derby County.
Bowyer didn’t panic, and instead brought in another League One player. This came in the shape of a centre-half from Bristol Rovers, Tom Lockyer.
The centre-back has been brilliant since arriving at the club, and many would probably be surprised with how well he’s fitted in to all parts of the Addicks’ game so far this season.
The 24-year-old has featured in every single Championship game so far in the current campaign and has become an instrumental part in the side getting results in the division.
His experience at international level has come in handy, and his ability to play in different formations has also helped Bowyer experiment if he wants to play a back three over a back four.
Lockyer is having his first taste of football at this level, but it seems to be suiting him. He has helped the Addicks pick up clean sheets against sides such as Leeds and Reading, whilst putting his aerial dominance on the other side’s strikers and has used his pace to track the runners.
From the offset, it has actually looked like an upgrade on Bielik in the short-term, and has given Charlton a really good platform to build on for the coming months of the season.
It’s yet to be seen whether Charlton’s ambitions of a top-half finish are genuine, or whether they may face a slide later on in the season, but the Addicks have made one magnificent signing in Lockyer and that has helped ease the pain from the loan of Bielik ending.