Charlton Athletic have ushered in a new era with Nigel Adkins arriving in south London last week, but he didn’t get the start he really wanted at the weekend.
The new management team of Adkins and Johnnie Jackson lined up in the dugout to see the Addicks make a 2-2 draw with AFC Wimbledon at Plough Lane, with Charlton surrendering a lead twice during the game.
They looked good going forward with Liverpool loanee Liam Millar supplying goals for Jayden Stockley and Diallang Jaiyesimi, but Ryan Longman struck with a brace to share the spoils between the two teams – with his second goal coming after a calamitous mix-up between Akin Famewo and Ben Amos.
One player who didn’t get called upon to start is Chuks Aneke – the Addicks’ top scorer this season with 13 goals in all competitions.
Aneke entered the fray as a second half substitute but was unable to add to his tally – in-fact he isn’t even a regular starter for the play-off chasers with his 31 appearances only featuring 11 starts (transfermarkt).
However with Aneke’s contract expiring in the summer, Charlton have a big decision to make as to whether or not they keep the attacker around.
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His goal record has been fantastic this season and you wouldn’t blame Championship clubs for coming in for Aneke, but there’s one massive issue and Lee Bowyer pointed it out at the beginning of the season – the former Arsenal man’s fitness and injury record is not great.
Aneke played just 20 times for the Addicks in the second tier last season and his fitness is the reason as to why he rarely starts games, especially back-to-back when Charlton have to play at the weekend and in midweek.
That’s something that can be managed though – as we’ve seen this season Aneke is very effective off the bench and if he’s on an affordable wage, Charlton would be bonkers to not offer him a new deal.
Of course though it will all come down to whether or not he fits in with Adkins’ plans, but it’s hard to see the 56-year-old casting Aneke aside simply because of his scoring record this season.
And if Charlton don’t want to keep him, then another League One club will happily take him you’d imagine, so Charlton definitely need to get their act together to secure the former Arsenal youngster.