Joe Aribo is a man with a very bright future ahead of him.
He suffered an injury earlier in the season, but has bounced back at Charlton with a real bang. He bagged this weekend as they downed Portsmouth in League One, but the goal is only the icing on the cake.
Aribo is an attacking midfielder with qualities outside the box as well as in. He maintains possession well, rarely loses the ball but is adept at winning it back for his side.
When he gets into the area, he can be as deadly as any centre forward. The 22-year-old has six goals from 26 league matches this season and has been a driving force behind the excellent Lyle Taylor and Karlan Grant partnership.
He’s now approaching a crossroads in his career. His Charlton deal is up in the summer and there’s no shortage of suitors. There’s been Bundesliga interest, something that may well appeal to a young Englishman after seeing Jadon Sancho settle quickly at Dortmund.
After his sensational display against Portsmouth it was revealed contract talks were ongoing, but he’s got a huge decision ahead of him.
There’s two options. One is the road to riches, a move to a big club as an out of contract player. The likelihood is he could secure a fat signing on fee for him and his agent and maybe a move to a big club, be it on these shores or abroad.
It’s got to be tempting for a young player, no matter where he is from. Dortmund, Munich or maybe Spurs could come in for him and turn his head.
The other option is perhaps even riskier; staying put. He claims to be happy at the club and not involved in the contract talks, but that’s surely rhetoric to allay fan’s fears. If he was happy, would a new deal not have struck already?
The key here is surely Charlton’s position next season.
If Joe Aribo is guaranteed a start in the Championship, maybe he can be tempted to stay with Charlton. After all, our second tier is as competitive as perhaps all but three leagues across Europe and is a great place to showcase your talents.
The young man must be aware though that another season in League One could be damaging. He’s a star right now, developing fast, but would that be the case after another season of playing Wycombe and Walsall?
Joe Aribo will be caught in two minds, partially hoping his club go up and make the decision easier, but maybe knowing that to truly progress, he has to leave the Valley and go out in the big wide world.