The 20-year-old midfielder, Joe Aribo, has been dubbed by his mentor as having a future in the top flight of English football. Marcus Gayle has been speaking to Kent Live to make clear his thoughts around the Addicks’ youngster.
Roland Duchatelet appointed his eighth manager at The Valley in November 2017. The former MK Dons boss, Karl Robinson was the man chosen to replace Russell Slade. Since his arrival, Robinson has maintained his reputation of giving young talent a chance.
Charlton Athletic are well known for their excellent academy facilities and the calibre of players they have produced. The likes of Scott Parker, Jonjo Shelvey, Ademola Lookman and Joe Gomez to name a few.
In a hunt for more prospective talent, the Addicks’ academy came across Joe Aribo at Staines Town. He now finds himself developing effectively in the senior sides’ midfield.
Coming into the 2016/17 League One campaign, it was clear that Charlton had an aging midfield with no new legs coming in from the transfer window. When Robinson arrived, he stuck by his reputation and chose Joe Aribo to step up into senior football. Since then, Charlton have benefitted ever since and so has the young talent.
The Charlton gaffer has already compared the 20-year-old midfielder to the legends of Patrick Vieira and Spurs favourite Dele Alli.
Speaking to Kent Live, Marcus Gayle believes the boy from Camberwell will go all the way to the Premier League.
“Joe’s a really good kid and what I noticed in him at an early age is he had the right character and was humble,” he recalls.
“He was comfortable in himself and obviously had ability. He has that added advantage of having had six months at Staines where he played against men and he has developed physically.
“I like to think I mentored him and I told him once that if he and I were still where we were in two years time then neither of us were doing our jobs properly.
“He made a promise to me that he would make it as a pro and I knew then he was deadly serious. Not every player with his ability can back that up, even though they talk the talk. The only tongues he was going to use were the ones in his boots.
“I had a couple of clubs I was going to recommend him to but Charlton gave him a chance and Jason took a blind punt on Joe really and after a two-month trial, he rang me to say they liked him.
“Joe knew people there because he’s from that side of town and he fitted in straight away and has developed well.
“I’m delighted for him. He’s well mannered and now he needs a good year at League One level to progress but I don’t think it will be long before he makes the jump up. Hopefully, he can join that small band of non-league players who make it to the Premier League. I think he will.”
Gayle also believes that Robinson’s admiration and commitment to developing young players is a bonus for Aribo.
“Karl knows how to look after young talent and give them a chance so Joe will benefit from that.”