Charlton Athletic completed the signing of Conor McGrandles on a three-year deal on Wednesday evening, rather bloating the club’s midfield contingent.
In terms of central midfielders at the club currently, Ben Garner has the following at his disposal: McGrandles, George Dobson, Scott Fraser, Jake Forster-Caskey, Aaron Henry, Sean Clare, Alex Gilbey and Albie Morgan.
Henry may yet depart on loan, having gained valuable experience in the National League with Wealdstone last season but there is still probably too many players fighting for three spots in the starting XI.
The one midfielder who sticks out the most for potentially not suiting a possession-based brand of football is Alex Gilbey.
The 27-year-old left Milton Keynes Dons ahead of Russell Martin’s first full season in charge at the club and the attack-minded midfielder could be set to fall down the pecking order at The Valley.
Gilbey showed his quality in patches last season, and when onsong he is amongst the best box-to-box midfielders in League One, however a lack of first team opportunities under Garner could cause friction in the camp, with the 27-year-old certainly one of the most influential senior players in the dressing room under Johnnie Jackson last season.
In terms of the club’s wage bill it is probably untenable to retain so many players worthy of a starting place in the squad, and therefore offloading Gilbey ahead of the season commencing appears to be best for both parties.
Albie Morgan could be another to depart as well as Gilbey, with the creative midfielder struggling to nail down a starting berth in the third tier under Lee Bowyer, Nigel Adkins and Jackson.
Morgan offers something slightly different to Gilbey, who likes to make forward runs in and around the frontline, while the former, and 22-year-old, is more of a dead ball specialist with one of the best passing ranges at the club.
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It is likely that there would be a lot of interested parties if Gilbey was made available for transfer, and the Addicks would risk selling to a direct rival, but in the long run it definitely feels like the right course of action, especially after McGrandles completed his move to South London.