Lee Bowyer: In-form Charlton Athletic attacker should sign new contract


Lee Bowyer wants Karlan Grant to sign a new Charlton contract – and reckons staying with the South London club will aid his development.

The 20-year-old has been handed first-team football at the Addicks this season and bagged his second goal of the campaign in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Bradford City.

Grant was loaned out to Crawley Town for the second half of the last campaign by previous boss Karl Robinson.

He is out of contract in June and Bowyer has identified the striker as one of five he wants to get signed on new terms – the others being Lewis Page, Joe Aribo, Tariqe Fosu and Dillon Phillips.

Asked if he expected Grant to pen a fresh contract, Bowyer told The Mercury: “I’m hopeful because he is playing here and doing well at the moment. But he has to keep improving. He has got a lot to learn.

But by playing here under myself and with Johnnie Jackson [assistant manager] he will learn more.

“He needs games – the worse thing he could possibly do is think ‘okay, I’ve had a good season and I’ll go somewhere else’ and then not play. It would just kill his career.

“There are going to be times here he won’t play this season and he’ll need to sit there, watch and learn every day in training.

“Learning is the most important thing for his own career. Hopefully he understands that – I’ve explained that to him.

“I can’t make anyone sign a contract. I’ve sat down with all five and spoken to them, but I can’t make them sign. I think they should because they are young and they are learning. Hopefully they have taken that on board.”

Grant scored nine goals in 15 games for Crawley last season in League Two. The terms of the loan meant he was unable to be recalled or feature for Charlton in the League One play-offs.

“Karlan is a confidence player,” said Bowyer. “It was probably the right thing for him to go away and play at Crawley, but I’d have loved to have him here for the play-offs.

“The most important thing is now. He is scoring goals and providing goals. He has to keep striving and not become complacent.”

Grant and Lyle Taylor have scored eight times in total, the latter wrapping up the win over the Bantams with a fine strike.

“Ever since I went mad at Accrington about us making the wrong decisions in the final third, now they are looking for each other,” said Bowyer.

“I know what each can give. Lyle brings more goals and physicality up front and Karlan brings more pace and can just make something out of nothing.

“They are different but the most important thing is getting them to play together and they are starting to do that now, which is good.

“Igor [Vetokele] is on the bench and desperate to get starts and that is the competition I want in all areas of the pitch. At the moment I have that up top.”

Charlton are at home to Plymouth on Saturday.

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