This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Charlton Athletic host Derby County this weekend, with Lee Bowyer’s side looking to improve the results that have seen them pick up only one win in their last five outings.
The Addicks’ form in recent weeks has not been helped by the loss of striker Lyle Taylor who has been sidelined since early September with a knee injury, that ultimately handed a chance to summer signing Macauley Bonne.
Taylor is on the road to recovery though and has taken to Instagram to post a short video with the caption ‘soon,’ suggesting that his return to action cannot be too far away.
So should Taylor walk straight back into the Addicks’ starting XI against the Rams this weekend if he is fit enough, or should Bowyer stick with Bonne?
“If Taylor is fit, Taylor simply must start.
“The man is a goal-scoring machine and will be the key behind any success that Charlton have this season.
“That being said, Bonne certainly does not deserve to be dropped. Two goals against two strong opponents show that he has a lot of potential at this level.
“Perhaps it is time to see the Bonne-Taylor partnership given its first outing, with Jonathan Leko (perhaps harshly) dropping to the bench.”
“Bonne has been excellent in recent weeks, and I think it would be very harsh from Bowyer to drop the striker even if Taylor is fit to start.
“Yes Taylor is so important to this Charlton side but it would be a really unwelcome decision from the manager that would probably make players think that even if they’re on top of their game, there’s still a chance they could be dropped.
“With the new formation being played at different times in recent weeks, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Bowyer go with the three at the back approach and put Taylor and Bonne as the front two.
“This game may come too soon for Taylor, but it’s sure to be an interesting fight for the striker role as Charlton continue to impress.”
“They need to stick with Bonne for their game against Derby.
“He’s hardly done anything wrong since arriving from Leyton Orient, and I’m pleased to see him adjusting to the step up to the Championship.
“He’s scored two league goals in five appearances so far for the Addicks, and he just needs a run in the starting XI to get back to his best it seems.
“There’s no doubting that Lyle Taylor has been excellent for Lee Bowyer’s side in recent seasons, but it wouldn’t be worth the risk to start him, especially when you’ve got a striker with Bonne’s quality available at the weekend.
“They should persist with the safe option against Derby, which at this moment in time, is Bonne.”