Lee Bowyer: The facts are that Charlton Athletic improve loan players – I was disappointed at Conor Gallagher’s exit

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Lee Bowyer has described every loan signing as a risk – but reckons the Charlton Athletic’s trading in that area has been highly impressive during his managerial tenure.

The Addicks suffered a setback earlier this week when Conor Gallagher was recalled by Chelsea and sent straight back out on loan to Swansea City.

Krystian Bielik’s form last season saw the Arsenal loanee join Derby County in a big-money deal. And Josh Cullen has shone in his two temporary stays in SE7.

“Of course it’s dangerous because you have to pick the right player – which we’ve done very well,” said Bowyer. “Because a player could come in with the wrong attitude ‘this ain’t my club, I’m just here to fill a gap’.

“But if you pick the right ones, which we have done, then they come in with the mentality we want from them. Then they become good.

“Conor came in and improved. We’ve given him the platform to build his career. He was playing for the U23s but this is what we do – we bring in young players and help clubs develop them. They are at a certain level when we come in and then we help and improve them.

“They become better players – that’s just the facts.

“Even with Jonathan Leko, I spoke to him the other night and I said to him: ‘You’re back on the map again’. Okay he has got the injury [likely to rule him out for the rest of the season] but he was on the scene, came off the scene and now we have put him back on the scene again. He scored six or seven goals for us, you can’t ignore that in half a season.

“That’s what we do. That’s why I’m disappointed we couldn’t keep Conor for the season because we are starting to get players back and he’d have kicked on again.

“Yeah, it has been tough of late [due to a major injury list] but that’s part of learning, no? It’s about learning everything – that’s not just winning games. It’s about have to dig deep.

“Conor gave me everything. I can’t fault him. He has been a pleasure to work with but I’m disappointed the way it happened.”

PICTURE BY PAUL EDWARDS


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