This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to London News Online, Lee Bowyer revealed that Tom Lockyer turned down Swansea in favour of a move to Charlton back in the summer.
The 24-year-old departed Bristol Rovers at the end of last season, where he made a huge 284 appearances for The Gas over the course of a seven-year stay at the club.
Already a full Wales international before his move to The Valley, the centre-back has vast experience under his belt despite his fairly youthful age, and Bowyer’s revelation speaks volumes.
Bowyer said: “He has been one of our most steady players – up there with Josh Cullen. You know what you are getting – steady, solid and he won’t let you down.
“Swansea wanted him but it was about selling this club to him. I told him: ‘Come here and improve, everyone who comes to this club has improved. Trust in what we’re telling you, take it on board and you’ll get better’.”
For Lockyer to turn down a club like Swansea in favour of Charlton speaks volumes, especially given the circumstances.
Firstly, the difference in the two sides before the start of the season was there for all to see. The south Londoners had just come up from League One via the playoffs, with the ill-feeling generated by Roland Duchatelet seeping down from above still very much present and something that continues to linger.
In contrast, Swansea had only recently been relegated from the Premier League – it’s fair to say that the Swans, in that respect, probably had a better chance at returning to the top-flight than newly-promoted Charlton did.
To only further emphasise the boldness of Lockyer’s decision and the lure of Bowyer’s project as well, Lockyer is Welsh and would’ve had the chance to move back home and play his football close to his family – the defender was born in Cardiff.
So, to ignore the glaring benefits of a move to the Liberty Stadium in favour of teaming up with Bowyer really says a lot about the ongoing project that is being overseen by the 42-year-old.