BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Lyle Taylor will attempt to become the first Charlton player in 90 years to score in five consecutive league games at the start of a season – with boss Lee Bowyer admitting Premier League could move for his star man in January.
Brentford, who failed with multiple bids for the 29-year-old before the summer transfer window closed, stand in the way of the Valley favourite achieving that scoring feat tomorrow.
Charlton fans have called for the club to break the bank to sign Taylor on a new deal. His current terms end in June.
But Bowyer told the South London Press it is not that simple – especially with the forward in red-hot form.
“Just say that we gave him what got offered by Brentford – it doesn’t guarantee he’s going to stay,” said Bowyer. “If he scores 10 goals between now and January, who says a Premier League wouldn’t come and get him?
“We have a budget and it doesn’t matter who it is, that is the budget. We will offer him the best we can and it will come down to a choice for Lyle. We could give him double what Brentford would have done and it doesn’t guarantee anything – that’s the unfortunate reality of the game now.
“If he carries on doing what he has been doing then for me it will be impossible to keep him. That’s just being honest.
“Lyle has come into the Championship, which is a big step up and he has fitted straight in. I look at other strikers in the Premier League and Lyle could do what they are doing.
“But he has to do it week in and week out to maybe get that opportunity. But, for sure, he could go into the Premier League.”
Fred Whitlow was the last Addicks player to open a campaign by netting in the first five league matches in 1929-30.
And Bowyer doesn’t reckon facing a club who pushed so hard to try and get him at the start of this season will change Taylor’s mindset.
“No, that won’t affect him,” said the Addicks chief.
“I hope he does get that fifth one. I hope he gets to six, seven, eight, nine and 10. He’s in a good place at the moment. He’s playing well and the team is playing well. That starts from the front. Lyle gets judged on goals but his all-round game has been excellent.
“I gave him the captaincy on Wednesday night because of that. He earned it.”
Taylor has scored 29 goals in 49 matches for Charlton since arriving in the summer of 2018.