Nigel Adkins will be backed at Charlton Athletic this summer as they look to gain promotion back to the Championship – and he’s already been making some key plays in the transfer market.
With the Addicks narrowly missing out on the play-offs at the back end of last season, there’s clearly a platform to be built on and eight-goal loan striker Jayden Stockley has arrived on a permanent deal from Preston North End to try and lead the charge.
Also arriving at The Valley is Portsmouth stopper Craig MacGillivray, who despite being one of League One’s top goalkeepers last season was not offered fresh terms at Fratton Park, and Charlton have snapped him up to replace Ben Amos who has headed to Wigan Athletic.
With Chuks Aneke leaving for Birmingham City though, Charlton need to replace his goals and they have been reported to be in ‘pole position’ for the most prolific striker in the EFL last season in Paul Mullin.
That’s according to Football Insider, who say that Adkins’ side lead the race for the 26-year-old, who turned down Cambridge United’s new contract offer and will be departing the new League One side.
Having played all 46 league games last season for Cambridge in League Two, Mullin scored 32 times – eight of those being from the penalty spot – so he will obviously be hot property this summer and a lot of teams will be looking for that 20 goal a season man to lead the line.
Would he be the perfect foil for Stockley though? I’m not so sure.
Looking back at Mullin’s career so far, last season was a huge outlier in terms of his goal statistics, with his best previous league season seeing him score nine times in League Two in the 2015-16 campaign for Morecambe.
That would ring slight alarm bells already and Mullin has only played in League One once – that being in the 2019-20 season for Tranmere where he scored just three times in 20 outings.
There’s no guarantee that wherever Mullin goes – especially if he steps up one or even two divisions from last season – will replicate the form he showed this past season and it may be the case that Cambridge’s system suited him down to a tee.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Charlton Athletic played each of these 25 teams?
It will have also helped Mullin that he had a player of Wes Hoolahan’s quality in League Two to supply him with goals, and losing that link-up could hinder him as well.
Even though he would be a free transfer, a punt on Mullin would be a big risk for Charlton and they may be better served on going for a striker with a bit of pace to play off Stockley who has either done it at League One level before or a young loanee from the Premier League.
Charlton used the loan market to great effect last season with the likes of Ian Maatsen and Liam Millar performing well from big Premier League clubs, and they could do the same again to get a striker partner for Stockley in.
Despite all his goals last season, there are definitely more suitable options out there for the Addicks than Mullin – it’s just about targeting one and getting it over the line.