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Opinion: Charlton Athletic should target 26-year-old free agent to aid stylistic transition under Ben Garner



Ben Garner was finally announced as the new manager of Charlton Athletic on Wednesday afternoon.

The former Swindon Town is set to implement a possession-based attacking brand of football in SE7, with pre-season beginning on 16th June for the 42-year-old to begin getting his ideas across.

The right personnel is required to successfully play possession-based football, with even smaller margin for error in place towards the bottom end of the EFL, and therefore the Addicks have a lot of work to do between now and the closing weeks of pre-season.

At the moment, Charlton have just two senior centre backs contracted to the club in Ryan Inniss and Sam Lavelle, the former of which is not at all suited to playing out from the back.

Deji Elerewe and Nazir Bakrin will likely train with the first team in pre-season, with Charlie Barker a potential option, despite seeing very limited first team action since the beginning of 2020/21.

Dion Conroy is a free agent after reaching the end of his contract at Swindon Town, where he was captain last season.

The 26-year-old is not the most experienced at League One level, but could be worth a punt on a free having been a key cog in Swindon Town’s sixth placed finish in League Two under Ben Garner last season.

Conroy came through the youth ranks at Chelsea, and having been a valued player under Garner so recently, he is in a good position to adjust quickly into the squad as a ball playing defender.

Quiz: Are these 20 Charlton transfer facts true or false?

1 of 20

Charlton re-signed Chuks Aneke from Birmingham City earlier this year

It seems clear that Garner is going to deploy a four at the back formation, meaning that the Addicks do not need to invest in as much depth in the centre back position, had they continued with a back three, and Conroy could be a smart addition to add competition for places.

With Jason Pearce and Johnnie Jackson departing the club this summer, it is important that the leadership qualities within the squad are adequately replaced, and Conroy could go some way to achieving that with his experience of taking the armband under Garner last term.

It would be a fairly risk-free addition given that a transfer fee would not be required, but also with the comfort that Conroy already knows Garner’s philosophy inside out.

Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Charlton Athletic should target 26-year-old free agent to aid stylistic transition under Ben Garner

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