Charlton Athletic fans have not had the most exciting and productive summer transfer windows in recent seasons. However, could that be different in the summer transfer window of 2017?
Since Roland Duchatelet bought Charlton Athletic from the two bankers in January 2014, the Addicks faithful have not witnessed any productive or exciting transfer windows to date.
Fans have witnessed the likes of Yann Kermorgant, Ademola Lookman, Johann Berg Gudmundsson to name just a minor few be sold as they were deemed “not good enough” to play for Charlton Athletic or the fact that the Addicks were not satisfying their ambitions, as it was clear Charlton were in decline.
However, could Charlton Athletic expect a different set of events in the upcoming summer transfer window?
It was reported by the Mail Sport last week that the Australian Football Consortium (AFC) LTD was in the process of raising £20 million capital to purchase the red Southeast London outfit from Roland Duchatelet. With the current situation and the clear fan unrest at The Valley, all fans would expect new ownership to meet their ambitions and expectations which would involve intelligent and smart spending in transfer windows. If a takeover was to happen before the start of pre-season, it is possible that Charlton fans could see a more productive and exciting transfer window if new ownership took over.
But, in the event that Roland Duchatelet and Katrien Meire (CEO) stay at The Valley, could Charlton be set for an effective rebuilding and restructuring process in the upcoming summer transfer window anyway? If you look at the transfer windows since Duchatelet has been in charge, the answer to that question would be no. Duchatelet is on his tenth manager when you take into account the interims, so stability and time for managers to build something have been somewhat limited.
However, Meire has assured the fans that Robinson and his team are in full control of his squad and its related operations, such as scouting for example, and they have full confidence in his ability to build success. Although Charlton fans will not be so naive to take their word as gospel with their track record.
On Wednesday, Karl Robinson and the club announced a new Head of Recruitment, Steve Gallen, who fills the “Chief Scout” vacant position which was filled by Steve Head before being forced out by Robinson as part of a long-term restructuring he is in the process of completing.
Gallen spent nineteen years at Queens Park Rangers, working his way up the ranks in a coaching capacity. In 2015 he was promoted to the first-team coach before being sacked and replaced later that year by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
After being sacked, Gallen moved on to become the manager of Hong Kong Pegasus for a short while. However, since leaving Hong Kong he has been operating in an informal scouting role for QPR and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Robinson and Gallen have known each other and kept in close contact over the last fifteen years as they progressed through the coaching game together.
“I am very pleased to be working with Steve. He is someone who has coached in the Championship at QPR. He’s done a lot of work and he knows what I expect.
“He’s a pro-license coach. He has a great eye for a player. When you have a coach in that position, they understand the rotations that I am looking for.”
Following on from Robinson’s comments, Gallen had the following to say when speaking to the club.
“I am very, very pleased to have joined Charlton. This is a big club with great history.
“Karl and I have known each other for 15 years, we came up the same way in coaching. Through schoolboys, reserves and as assistants. He’s gone on to do incredibly well and we’ve kept in touch throughout.
“There is a trust there. I trust him, he trusts me. I know what he looks for in a player. I know what a ‘Karl Robinson player’ looks like.
“I’ve just started at the club and I’m really looking forward to it. I want to identify the best players within our budget and then help do what we can to get them in.”
It is also worth mentioning, that Charlton Athletic have already been linked with the highly-rated Bradford City winger, Mark Marshall, who could come to The Valley on a free as he is out of contract in the summer, and wants to return to his London roots.
It is up to each Charlton Athletic fan to evaluate themselves whether or not recruitment and scouting for the upcoming transfer window will be different in comparison to previous seasons. However, I imagine that most Charlton fans will not feel optimistic until the infamous Roland Duchatelet retreats from Charlton Athletic permanently.