After a long and anxious wait most Charlton fans were relieved to see four new signings in the final days of the transfer window. While there is still concern over the left back position and cover for Jayden Stockley it was generally agreed that the squad is now much improved in quality and quantity.
Thirty one year old Sidcup-born Harry Arter has joined from Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan. He was a product of the Charlton Academy but left the club after making one first team appearance in a League Cup tie in 2007. He dropped down to Conference South level (Woking) for a year before joining Bournemouth in 2009. He was a crucial part of the Bournemouth side which went from League One in 2012/13 to the Premier League in 2015/16. In eight seasons he made 232 appearances for the club of which 69 were at Premier League level. He was loaned to Cardiff (Premier League) in 2018/19 and to Fulham (Championship) in 2019/20 before joining Forest last season. He made only 13 appearances for them and most Forest fans were unimpressed. He is a current Republic of Ireland international with eighteen caps in all. He has a "fiery streak" and has accumulated plenty of yellow and red cards over the years but he brings exceptional experience in the shape of 343 professional games and 36 goals. And, of course, he is married to Scott Parker's sister.
Elliot Robert Lee (not to be confused with his brother Oliver Robert Lee) is the son of Robert (not Rob) Lee but, as far as we know, he has never operated a turnstile of any sort in his life. He joins us on a season-long loan from Luton who he joined in July 2017. He began at West Ham and made two Premier League appearances but spent most of 2013-2016 on loan at various clubs. He signed for Championship Barnsley in 2016 but made only six substitute appearances. He played 70 times for Luton as they went from League Two to the Championship in successive seasons but was loaned for the second half of last season to Oxford.
He described the move as : “A really proud moment for me and my family obviously with the history I have at the club with my dad playing here, so I’m absolutely delighted to be here. I’m over the moon and I can’t wait to get started."
Jonathan came to this country as an eight year old from The Democratic Republic of Congo with his father and they were subsequently granted asylum. He made his debut for WBA in The Premier League at the age of 16 years 344 days and made 14 Premier League appearances in all. He represented England at under 18, 19 and 20 levels.
He began the 2019/20 season on loan at The Valley and he was to make 21 appearances for us and score 5 goals - including an equaliser at The Den. In December 2019, however, he suffered an ACL injury which would keep him out of football for ten months. Despite this he was signed by Birmingham for a fee rumoured to be £1m and finally made his debut for them in October 2020. He has since played 41 times but failed to score any more goals. Lee Bowyer described him as an "exciting" player when he joined Charlton but now clearly sees him as surplus to requirements. He joins us on a season-long loan. He is pleased to be back:
"I can't wait to get back to The Valley and get back playing, doing well and meeting all the fans - I just can't wait."
Sam Lavelle is a permanent signing on a three year contract from Morecambe. A fee of £200k has been mentioned. He is a twenty four year old six foot three right sided central defender who has been with The Shrimps for four years after coming through the Blackburn Academy but failing to break through at Blackburn and Bolton. He made 134 League Two appearances for Morecambe and was captain of the side which gained promotion last season via a play-off win against Newport.
One Morecambe fan wrote this yesterday on a club message board:
"Will forever be Morecambe legend. One of the best Morecambe players I’ve ever seen. But more importantly, a truly top bloke who had time for anyone."
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