Monday, May 21, 2007

Pardew's Forward Planning

With Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink the only confirmed departure so far, and with today's confirmation that Luke Varney and Chris Iwelumo are joining, Charlton find themselves in the odd (albeit temporary) position of having a bigger squad than we did upon exiting the Premiership.

Both signings demonstrate clear intent that the club plans to use its parachute payment advantage to the full, spending £2m on Varney and presumably being able to pay Iwelumo more than Colchester possibly could.

Both players fit the bill of young(ish), hungry and seeing Charlton as a step up in their careers. With specific regard to Iwelumo, as Pards correctly points out, it's tough to compete in the Championship without a big target man (or at least the option thereof). And as a Scot to boot, he follows in the footsteps of the likes of recent Charlton legends Stuart Balmer and Colin Walsh.

One might reasonably question the Varney fee, and there does appear to be a general tendency for Charlton to be 'price-takers', in a market where 'value' is by definition a matter of opinion. Indeed whilst we are obliged to be fishing in a certain transfer pond, it does seem peculiar just how many players we sign for exactly £2m or £2.5m.

The arrival of Varney and Iwelumo however surely signals the departure of Darren Bent, despite the occasional implication that it is not yet a certain outcome. Given that I was a rare (or perhaps lone) voice in favour of his sale in January, it's hardly surprising perhaps that I now believe attempting to hold onto him would be foolhardy.

Unfortunately despite Bent's best efforts (and goals), we actually fell five points short of safety, implying we needed about six extra games, a comfortable relegation if ever there was one. And that was precisely my point in January; we were doing poorly and heading for relegation with Darren Bent, so it might have made sense to realise a higher transfer value in January.


At 4:31 PM, Blogger Wyn Grant said...

£400,000 of the Varney fee will go to Quorn which is a nice earner for a Midland Alliance club. News of the signature of Ben Mackie and Josh Brake is awaited at Harbury Lane.


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