Charlton Athletic’s current stance on their out-of-contract stars could leave them quickly heading towards a disaster.
The Addicks stand to lose no fewer than eight first-team players come to the end of the season, and according to Lee Bowyer prior to his exit, the south-east Londoners will wait until they know which division they’ll be in next term.
Ultimately, that’s a very dangerous game to play from director of football Steve Gallen.
One of those players that could leave The Valley for nothing is midfielder-turned-talisman Chuks Aneke.
“I think there will be interest in Chuks. Everyone wants a striker. If we go up I’m guessing he would stay with us. He likes it with us. He is another we have got the best out of, so I couldn’t see why he’d leave if we went up,” explained Bowyer.
The 27-year-old is currently Charlton’s top goalscorer on 13 goals in all competitions, the bulk of which have contributed towards them being firmly in the playoff race.
Of course, the Addicks do not know whether they’ll be competing in the Championship or League One next season, but that shouldn’t stop them from trying to keep hold of their best players and clearly, Aneke falls under that bracket.
After bagging his 13th of the campaign, Bowyer waxed lyrical about the leading talisman, he told LondonNewsOnline: “He was immense up there again today. He’s unplayable, on his day he’s unplayable. To have that hunger and that aggression in the box, that hunger to score every time you get a chance.”
Despite the loan addition of Jayden Stockley, Aneke has continued to be the more prolific source of goals and the more lethal threat in front of goal, where he has averaged a squad-high 2.4 shots per game, via WhoScored.
The former MK Dons ace is only thought to be earning around £5.4k-per-week at The Valley, which is less than veteran midfielder Ben Watson, so it’s not as if finances should be an issue either.
Aneke is the sort of player that newly-appointed Nigel Adkins would probably love to keep around, and as Bowyer says, he probably wants to stay too, so it’s on Gallen to tie him down for the long-term.
The Addicks cannot rest on their laurels, especially with their only other striker – Stockley – due to return to his parent club in the summer. They must offer Aneke a new deal as a priority, or face the ghastly consequences.