Charlton Athletic and Jonny Williams was a fling which suited both parties, but both realise that there are better options on the horizon.
The Welshman was a superb bit of business in January; Charlton needed inspiration and creativity within their midfield and Williams needed a new start away from Palace, where he finally moved out after nearly 17 years.
Williams has played 18 games for Charlton this campaign, providing one assist, but has only started 14 games – and started none of the play-off games.
This suggests that Lee Bowyer doesn’t necessarily see Williams as part of his best 11, and as a club which has limited funds, a large contract renewal for Williams with other clubs at knocking on the door might’ve lacked foresight.
In a league where most teams face large financial losses, there is no room for sentiment. Charlton fans have taken a shine to Williams, who comes across as a particularly likeable character from his experiences on Netflix’s Sunderland ‘Till I Die and was also taken from local rivals Crystal Palace.
However, with the Daily Mail reporting that other clubs are interested in his signature, they would have to raise their wage demands, and the ever-present risk of a severe injury could easily wipe any chance of profitability for the player.
Remarkably, while Williams has played 105 championship matches, he has only played a full match on three occasions; being brought on for 55 games and being brought off in 50.
As Charlton look to cement their Championship status, is it worth exhausting a large portion of their wage budget for a player who has regular setbacks? It seems it’s not worth the risk for Lee Bowyer’s Charlton.
Likewise for Williams – who is now 25 and looking for his first ever long-term contract away from Palace – Charlton might not be the best option for him either, as he has interest from a collection of clubs in the championship, including QPR, Preston and Swansea.
Williams may find that he can receive a bigger contract and even a more influential role at one of these clubs.
Charlton was the perfect rebound for Williams, but after 6 months Williams has his eyes on a bigger prize, and the Addicks can’t justify the keeping him around.