Despite Nigel Adkins’ desire to sort his transfer business prior to pre-season, Charlton only managed to secure the signature of Jayden Stockley before the squad returned for training on Thursday. Naturally, this has been a source of concern in parts of the fanbase, but how do the Addicks compare to the rest of the division at this time?
There are six teams that are yet to make a signing in League One, curiously this includes all three of the relegated teams from the Championship (Wycombe Wanderers, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday). Considering Sheffield Wednesday’s off the field problems, Rotherham’s consistent yoyoing between the two divisions, and Wycombe’s small stature, perhaps this isn’t too surprising. What is surprising is Sunderland’s lack of activity, under their new French owner they’ve seen ten leave but are yet to bring in a single player. The parallels with Charlton (1 signing) are clear.
At the other end of the transfer table, Burton and Bolton lead the way with 8 and 7 signings respectively, while Wigan, Plymouth, and Morecambe have all signed 6. With only 9 of the 74 transfers involving a fee, it would appear that the smaller clubs are taking full advantage of the free agent market early in order to succeed. The clubs with slightly bigger budgets have their resources to pay fees for players. Indeed, this may explain why the likes of Charlton, Sunderland, and the relegated teams are yet to make significant changes to their squads. Regardless, missing out on the likes of Scott Twine seems like a missed opportunity, hopefully Charlton can turn this around in the coming days with a few shrewd frees. Ipswich Town are potentially the one to watch next season, they’ve let 19 players go this summer and have brought in 4 players so far – a mix of frees, loans and fee transfers.
Generally, it would appear that Charlton have been slow getting off the mark when compared to the majority of the division, however the smaller clubs have been the main players in the market so far. Perhaps this is partly down to the need of the smaller clubs to take advantage of frees, especially as the other “big” clubs have made relatively few transfers so far.