BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlton Athletic could be set to lose up to 10 players this summer – with manager Lee Bowyer admitting he would like to kick off contract talks with some of his squad.
The Addicks have options to extend the stays of Jonny Williams, Jake Forster-Caskey and Ben Amos.
But there is no such clause in place for Lyle Taylor, Adam Matthews, Chris Solly, Tomer Hemed, Naby Sarr, Albie Morgan and Lewis Page.
When you add in the fact that all six of the loan signings are due to head back to their parent clubs it leaves a huge turnover of players.
And goalkeeper Dillon Phillips and centre-back Tom Lockyer, two of the Addicks’ most consistent performers this season, only have 12 months to run on their terms.
It leaves East Street Investments, in control of the club since the start of January, in the position of providing some longer-term planning as Roland Duchatelet, keen to sell up for the past couple of years, was not ready to hand out the more lucrative terms that see players commit over an extended period.
ESI made four signings in the January transfer window – all of them on a temporary basis as Aiden McGeady, David Davis, Andre Green and Matt Smith arrived.
Asked by the South London Press about when Charlton could make offers to those squad members they wanted to retain, Bowyer said: “I think I go by what the previous owner was saying: ‘We have to see when we’re safe. We can’t really start giving out contracts, because we don’t know what league we’re in’.
“That’s what he [Duchatelet] was saying. And, being honest, I’ve not even spoken about it to these ones [ESI].
“They’ve come in when the window was open and it was more about bringing players in.
“It will be a conversation between myself, Steve [Gallen, director of football] and the chairman [Matt Southall] that we’ll look to have soon.
“The previous fella said we ain’t giving out contracts until we know what division we’re in.
“But we’ll have to start getting things rolling.”
Phillips, 24, has played every minute in the Championship this season. Along with centre-back Lockyer, snapped up on a free from Bristol Rovers last summer, they are commodities.
Asked if they were priorities to agree extensions, Bowyer said: “For sure, they have to be. Especially Dillon – he’s young and has done well.
“We have to do things the right way but, again, I don’t know when that will happen. Steve deals with all that.
“Alfie Doughty is one that we’re going to have to address as well. He has come from nowhere [to be in the first-team fold].”
Fulham had been linked with an enquiry for Doughty just before the window closed.
“I think there was half an interest – more like a question,” said Bowyer. “It’s not like anything was put down.
“It was just a question and we said: ‘No – we’re not selling him’. It was nothing concrete.”
MAIN PICTURE BY PAUL EDWARDS