BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Chris Powell has praised Karlan Grant for recovering from early setbacks at Charlton to earn a multi-million move to Huddersfield Town.
Grant completed a move to the Premier League club.
But his upturn in fortunes this season came after a struggle to build on early promise.
Powell has managed both Charlton and Huddersfield – winning the League One title with the former. Grant was a schoolkid when the former England international was in the Valley hotseat.
Powell said: “I felt for Karlan. He was a schoolboy when I was there. He played a year or two above his age group because he was quite clearly a real talent.
“We had him in training with us a few times at the age of 15.
“There was a lot of hype initially, people saying he was going to do this and that. Sometimes you do your development in the public eye – the majority of boys go under the radar and play for the U18s and U23s and eventually go into the first-team.
“But after I had moved on, Karlan went from the youth team and straight into the first team. He missed a lot of development and growing up, in football terms – how to handle different things. It was almost back to front really, because he got into the first team and made a bit of noise.
“It didn’t really work out. It went quiet for quite a while and he had to rebuild himself under the tutelage of Jason Euell and Steve Avory.
“He’s someone I always kept an eye on. You knew he had the talent – he just had to come back.
“The Crawley [Town] loan really got him going again. I went to watch Crawley and he was head and shoulders above everyone else. I thought if he could get it right at Charlton he could definitely become a bit of a goalscoring hero there.
“He’s done that for half a season and got a move, which is a shame for the Valley faithful – they love a goalscoring hero over the years, the likes of Clive Mendonca, Darren Bent and Andy Hunt.
“I wish Karlan all the luck. It is a long way from home but they are good people and good supporters. If he carries on to anywhere near what he showed at Charlton then they’ll enjoy watching him.”
See tomorrow’s South London Press for more from Powell on the absence of Grant and Lyle Taylor for Saturday’s match.