According to South London Press, Charlton will resume talks with Anfernee Dijksteel regarding a new contract after the play-offs have concluded, with promotion to the Championship clearly a priority for the hierarchy at The Valley.
The Dutchman still has a year left on his current deal so the matter isn’t as urgent as, say Lee Bowyer’s situation – the Addicks boss’ contract with the club expires this summer.
Regardless, the former Newcastle midfielder’s comments regarding Dijksteel’s future are a positive sign that Roland Duchatelet will get the ball rolling soon enough. But are the play-offs going to become another excuse for the eccentric Belgian to drag things out?
Well, Bowyer told South London Press:
“He hasn’t signed yet. I thought it would be done by now if I’m honest.
“But that’s something we will pick up after the end of the season.
“He’s still got a year left. We just thought he had done well, so we’ll reward him with a new deal.”
The 22-year-old has impressed on the right of defence in the absence of first-choice Chris Solly and was particularly stoic in the difficult 0-0 stalemate with Bristol Rovers in March. Primarily, or formerly, a defensive midfielder, the number 2 has excelled in a new role this season and earned praise for his exploits on Charlton Live‘s award dinner podcast at the weekend (quotes from between 00:57:30 and 00:57:58):
Check out what happened when two of Charlton’s best players faced-off in a game of ‘Splat’ in the video below…
“When he (covered for Solly at right-back last season) I was impressed but I thought that there was a mistake in him and that there was a little vulnerability when he came forward, but this season, I’ve just felt that he’s so much (more) comfortable, bearing in mind that central-defensive midfield is his main position. I just feel like he’s been a lot more asserted at that right-back position now and he’s sort of made it his own. He’s someone I’ve been really impressed with this season.”
Dijksteel has shown that he could succeed 28-year-old Solly in the coming years and so tying him down would be a smart bit of business from the SE7 outfit but Charlton fans will likely be more concerned with the fact that Joe Aribo, Patrick Bauer and the aforementioned Bowyer, who is a huge hit with the fans, could leave free of charge this summer.
The play-offs are, of course, a huge opportunity for the Addicks but they may become an excuse for Duchatelet to stall on contract negotiations with various key players and staff. Will the extended season prove detrimental to Charlton’s chances of keeping their best players?