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’s talismanic striker Lyle Taylor has told manager Lee Bowyer that he won’t play any part when the 2019/20 Championship campaign gets back underway later this month.
The 30-year-old is out of contract at the end of June and is understood to be unwilling to risk picking up an injury that could endanger a potential “life-changing move” this summer.
His absence is a huge blow for the Addicks, who are facing a relegation battle in the Championship. Bowyer’s men are 22nd in the table – two points and one place away from safety with nine games remaining.
Charlton don’t have time to rest on their laurels, however, and will need to hit the ground running when the season restarts.
But who should Bowyer play upfront with Taylor missing?
We’ve asked our FLW writers for their thoughts…
It has to be Macauley Bonne, without a shadow of a doubt.
Obviously, it’s a massive blow for Charlton to be without Taylor for the remaining nine games of the season. He has been such an integral player for the Addicks in the past two seasons, scoring vital goals despite encountering a couple of injury problems.
But when Taylor was out injured this season, Bonne more than stepped up to the plate. His goalscoring record is actually really impressive for Charlton, scoring a brace against Bristol City and netting four goals in four games over the course of October.
He is a similar player in terms of his size and attributes and has the strength to lead the line on his own. He isn’t a bad option to rely on with Taylor looking to play no further part in the season.
Tomer Hemed would be the man to lead the line if I was Lee Bowyer.
Charlton often operate with a lone striker and I think Hemed’s physical presence would fill that void left by Taylor well.
He’s also an experienced striker that has played at a high level in the Championship before and I think he’d be the option I’d call upon to start from now until the end of this year’s campaign for the Addicks.
There is no doubt that Taylor’s absence will be tough to take for Bowyer and the Charlton supporters, but if the likes of Hemed and Macauley Bonne can step up, then Charlton won’t have an issue in surviving this term.
Hemed could be the difference between survival and relegation for the Addicks this season.
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Time to step up, Macauley Bonne.
The burden of goalscoring at Charlton Athletic has been firmly fixed on Lyle Taylor’s shoulders over the last few seasons, so Bonne will have a huge task on his hands.
Though, in his 24 appearances in the Championship, Bonne has managed to notch eight goals and two assists, an impressive total given this has been his first season playing in the Championship.
It’s fair to say the likes of Chuks Aneke and Tomer Hemed don’t offer the same sort of goalscoring nous and pedigree as Bonne, so I fully expect Bowyer to opt for the former Leyton Orient frontman when the football returns.
Of course, there are a lot of qualities that Bonne cannot deliver that Taylor can, notably aerial ability, so the Addicks are perhaps going to have to alter the way they initiate attacks and feed the ball into the frontman.