With the Football League kick-off just days away, this series of articles takes a closer look at the 24 teams vying for the £100 million Premier League bonanza.
Ex-Millwall striker Bob Peeters leads the Addicks this season after the departure of compatriot Joe Riga to Blackpool, with ambitious Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet hoping for an improvement in the club’s fortunes after escaping relegation last season.
Peeters' summer transfer activity has seen him turn to foreign markets, utilising Charlton’s link with Standard Liege, as well as bringing in a number of familiar and unfamiliar names back to English football.
The likes of Andre Bikey and Tal Ben Haim bring valuable experience to the squad but were well past their best when they left English football; otherwise Charlton’s recruitment, while not without potential, has something of the hit or miss about it.
The success Watford have had with a raft of loan signings from linked clubs may be the inspiration, but in a highly competitive division I believe it will be a tough initiation for Peeters and another season of struggle at The Valley.
Last Season: 18th
Manager: Bob Peeters
Transfers In*: Igor Vetokele (FC Copenhagen, undisclosed), Andre Bikey (Panetolikos, free), Zak Ansah (Arsenal, free), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (AZ Alkmaar, free), Tal Ben Haim (Standard Liege, free), Franck Moussa (Coventry, free), George Tucudean (Standard Liege, free), Stephen Henderson (West Ham, free), Yoni Buyens (Standard Liege, loan)
Transfers Out*: Diego Poyet (West Ham, compensation), Dorian Dervite (Bolton, free), Danny Hollands (Portsmouth, free), Ben Hamer (Leicester, free), Danny Green (MK Dons, free), Richard Wood (Rotherham, free), Adebayo Azeez (AFC Wimbledon, free), Jordan Cook (Walsall, free), Bradley Pritchard (Leyton Orient, free), Andy Hughes (Bolton, free), Cedric Evina (Doncaster, free), Harry Lennon (Cambridge, loan), Piotr Parzyszek (Sint-Truidin, loan) Leon Cort, Kevin Feely, Mark Gower, Bradley Jordan (released)
One To Watch: Reza Ghoochannejhad (forward)
Iran striker Reza became the first Charlton player to score a World Cup goal when he netted a consolation for his team against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brazil this summer. Fans at The Valley will be hoping he can replicate those moments in the Championship this season.
Prolific at international level, Reza failed to make much of an impact after arriving in last season’s winter transfer window. A look at the Youtube highlight reels does hint at a player with greater potential than what has been seen so far: with enough pace to worry defenders and poise in front of goal, Reza (who received his football education in the Netherlands) has the potential to become a big hit in English football.
With a pre-season and a World Cup goal behind him Reza could now have all the ingredients required to kickstart his Charlton career.
Selected Odds: Champions 80-1; Promotion 20-1; Relegation 11-4
Opening Fixtures: Brentford (A), Wigan (H), Derby (H)
*Correct at the time of writing
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