Thursday, March 30, 2017
Charlton Athletic facing fight to hold onto defensive star – tracked by...

Charlton Athletic facing fight to hold onto defensive star – tracked by Premier League clubs

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Photo: Paul Edwards

Karl Robinson has admitted that Charlton are likely to face a fight this summer to hold onto Ezri Konsa – and is making no promises they can keep their teenage star.

The 19-year-old has broken onto the first-team scene this season and played 34 matches – both in defence and a holding midfield role.

Charlton knocked back bids in the January window and Konsa was yesterday selected for the latest England under-20 squad.

Robinson said: “I know there are Premier League clubs who would chase him. They have people coming to watch him every week.

“I’d love to keep him for another year – that’s down to me, his agent and the club to try and see what’s right for everybody. You can’t always get the fairytale scenario, where you want to keep all the players to get us to where we want to go to.

“Whether you are Charlton, Milton Keynes, Millwall or Sheffield United – when you have outstanding players, like we did with Ademola Lookman, it can be impossible to keep hold of them in modern-day football.

“I’d love him to stay but we have to convince him about going this way.

“He is a Premier League player now – his athleticism, mentality and his technique. He’s a great young man with the world at his feet.

“He has the potential to do whatever he wants to do if he keeps his feet firmly on the ground. Once you get praise it is how you cope with it. It’s not just about dealing with criticism – you can get carried away by positivity.

“If he stays grounded and with the coaching development structure that we have got in place he is going to be an outstanding player.”

Sports Editor | South London Press sports editor since 2007 who has covered huge sporting events for the paper – Crystal Palace’s Championship play-off final, two trips to Wembley in the FA Cup and David Haye’s world heavyweight unification fight with Wladimir Klitschko. Previously sub-edited on the Sunday Mirror, Daily Star and Sport First. Former ClubCall deputy editor.

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Charlton Athletic facing fight to hold onto defensive star – tracked by...