Lee Bowyer reckons that Joe Aribo’s agent holds the key to Charlton Athletic securing their midfield powerhouse on a new contract.
The Camberwell-born 22-year-old underlined his class in front of the Sky Sports’ cameras on Saturday evening – scoring and taking their man-of-the-match award in the Addicks’ 2-1 win over Portsmouth.
Aribo is out of contract at the end of this season and Bowyer has urged the former Staines man to extend his stay in SE7.
If he rejects a new deal it will mean that Charlton are only due compensation and that could be greatly diminished if one of their prize assets opts to move outside of England. Aribo was linked with a switch to Germany before the January transfer window opened.
Bowyer said: “Myself and Steve Gallen [head of recruitment] had a good chat with Joe on Thursday. Joe wants to sign and stay.
“It’s just a matter of coming to an agreement with his agent, that’s what it is going to come down to.
“Joe knows this is a good place for him to be. He knows this is a good club. That’s what he said to us – and that he wants to keep learning from us. It’s obvious Joe’s agent has got a job to do, but we just have to keep letting Joe know how important he is to us. It’s also about telling him how important it is for his career that he keeps playing games.
“We need to make an agreement with his agent and we’re trying – we’re trying so hard. If you are asking me, I think he will sign.”
When the South London Press asked Bowyer on Saturday night if Aribo’s starring display in a televised match helped Charlton’s end goal of keeping a top talent, it brought a rueful smile from the Addicks chief.
Asked if Aribo is ready for the Championship now, Bowyer replied: “If we go up then I wouldn’t be worried about playing Joe next season for us.
“I think on Saturday he showed physically that he is a lot stronger now. And he needs to be because that league is more physical. He was essentially playing against Championship midfielders.”