This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Blackburn Rovers are prepared to allow midfielder Richie Smallwood to leave the club for a ‘nominal fee’ during the current transfer window, rather than risk losing him for nothing in the summer when his current contract expires, with Charlton Athletic one of the clubs weighing up a bid for the 29-year-old, according to a report on TEAMtalk.
Smallwood has not played in the Championship so far this season, with his only appearances coming in the Carabao Cup where he started in the First Round win over Oldham Athletic and in the defeat to Sheffield United at the Second Round stage.
He is vastly experienced at Football League level, playing for Middlesbrough, Rotherham United, Scunthorpe United as well as Rovers, making a total of 311 senior career appearances.
But would Smallwood be a good fit at the Valley and is he actually needed by Lee Bowyer’s side?
“Any signing would be a good signing in the eyes of Charlton fans. Nothing seems to have changed since their takeover at the start of the month – fans were expecting them to splash the cash on some of the best young players in the country, but that’s been far from the case.
“Smallwood isn’t quite the marquee signing that fans would’ve been expecting, but it’s a singing nonetheless. He’s a player with good Championship experience with the likes of Middlesbrough and Rotherham and one who’s been in Charlton’s position before.
“Lee Bowyer’s side have won just one of their last 18 in all competitions and the threat of relegation is becoming more so each week. They need numbers because their injury list shows no sign of decreasing, and Smallwood would be a fine addition to the squad.
“Charlton need experience as well. They’ve got a lot of fine young players but their inexperience has been exposed this season. Someone like Smallwood would steady the ship. He’d be Bowyer’s voice on the pitch and I think this signing could really transform Charlton’s season, and see them safe for the next.”
Can you get 100% in our Charlton Athletic quiz? Go on give it a try now!
“He could be a useful addition but I’m not convinced this should be a priority for the Addicks.
“They already have Darren Pratley as an experienced midfield presence and with Sam Field, Jake Forster-Caskey, Josh Cullen and George Lapslie all available, it seems like a bit of a waste.
“The Addicks need to prioritize strengthening each end of their side instead. A striker needs to be brought in and an experienced central defender may not be a bad idea either.
“If those positions are filled, then they could consider moving for Smallwood in my opinion.”
“While a move is a bit of a long-shot, this could be a shrewd move.
“The midfielder has been available by Blackburn Rovers which means that he could be on the move before the end of the week.
“Smallwood would be a huge boost for Lee Bowyer’s side as he holds a wealth of Championship experience having played with both Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers – a CV that would make him an appealing option to plenty of clubs in the bottom half of the table.
“He might not be the most exciting signing in the world, but there’s no doubting the stability that Smallwood could bring to the team as they look to keep their heads above water come the end of the season.
“It’s a surprise that Blackburn will allow him to leave, but their loss looks like it will be someone else’s gain.”