Charlton Athletic manager Nigel Adkins has revealed that contract talks between the Addicks and exciting prospect Deji Elerewe will be kept private as they aim to secure his long-term future.
Elerewe is one of the brightest talents that Charlton have within their academy system at the moment.
The 18-year-old has already been able to show his potential within the Addicks’ first team squad with him making two appearances in League One already this term and then another three in the cup competitions.
The Addicks’ Charlton director of football Steve Gallen has recently confirmed that the club are in discussions with the defender over the possibility of him signing a new long-term deal to commit his future to the Valley.
However, there have also been some reports suggesting that West Ham could be one side that aim to make a move for the defender before he signs any new deal with Charlton, according to London News Online.
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Speaking to London News Online, Adkins has revealed that Charlton are going to try and keep matters regarding the 18-year-old’s potential new deal under wraps for now.
He said: “Things go on privately behind closed doors which, in respect of contracts and conversations that go on, it’s important they are not done via the media.
“Steve Gallen and Ged Roddy, our director of football and technical director, along with the owner Thomas Sandgaard, are involved in all the finances of signing players and contracts.
“All of the U23s trained with the first team in pre-season, because the squad was so small. It was a great opportunity to look at them all. He [Elerewe] first stood out when he played in pre-season.
“He played very well. The night before [his first match] I had a very good conversation with him. You could see his personality and attitude, he’s been brought up well by his parents. He’s very intelligent, got a good attitude and has attributes that will hopefully keep developing over the coming years.
“He’s been involved in the first-team matches. We’ve got to be mindful that he gets game time as well, as an example he played for the U23s on Monday against Derby. We’re very conscious of making sure we aid him with his development.
“There will be a lot of talk [speculation], obviously, a young player at the age of 17 who has been in the first team. I can name players across the country that get linked with other football clubs. As far as I’m concerned he trains very hard with the players and his energy is top drawer.”
This is a very difficult one for Charlton because they obviously and rightly view Elerewe as a potential star for them in the future.
Having a player with his potential on their books is a real boost for them but only if they are able to secure his long-term future but that is not going to be easy.
There is undoubtedly going to be interest in a player with the defender’s potential and that means that the Addicks are going to have to work very hard to convince him that his long-term development is best served remaining at the Valley.
Elerewe should not be in any rush to leave Charlton because he will get first-team chances with the Addicks and that is vital at this stage in his career.
If he can perform to the levels that he is capable of doing then the Addicks will have an excellent player on their hands for the next few years.
Therefore, securing his future with them is rightly being viewed as a priority. However, Adkins is also right to try and keep those contract discussions as private as possible for now.