BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton fended off bids for Lyle Taylor right up until the summer transfer window closed – but boss Lee Bowyer is resigned to probably losing the striker in January.
The former AFC Wimbledon hotshot, who bagged 25 goals as the Addicks were promoted from League One last season, is out of contract at the end of the current campaign.
The South Londoners have offered Taylor a new contract but it remains unsigned. Championship rivals Brentford submitted bids of up to a reported £4m in the summer.
Taylor took his tally to four goals in four games on Wednesday night against Nottingham Forest and Bowyer fears potential suitors will come back in for his talisman in the January transfer window.
“I think it will be impossible to keep him,” admitted Bowyer.
“That’s the nature of the game. If he goes and scores ten goals between now and January, someone will obviously come in with probably more than what they offered in the summer. For me, he’s. a twenty goal a season striker no matter what division. The way we play suits him because it ain’t just his goals. His physicality, he holds the ball up. He’s got everything. We’re going to try and sign him but it’s going to be hard. It’s a difficult situation.
“It’s a difficult one, because he’s a very good striker and everyone wants good strikers. I’m just thankful we’ve got him now because the owner did us a favour and turned down a big bid for him. He can only keep scoring.
“We started discussions [about a new contract] before the deadline, but it’s tough when you have other clubs offering what they do in this division, which is up here. We’re down here. How can we compete? We can’t. That’s the reality of it. But we have him at the moment and he’s scored four in four. I’m just going to enjoy working with him whilst I can.
“That’s his job, to score goals. He brings more than that. His work rate out of possession. He’s great around the place. That’s why I made him captain tonight. I think he deserved to walk the team out. Because of his goals, his work rate. He leads from the front. Normally I would have probably gone with a centre-half, a tough leader from the back organising. But I think Lyle has earned that, the right to walk the team out. He was outstanding from start to finish again. We’re very lucky to have him.”
PHOTOS PAUL EDWARDS AND KEITH GILLARD