BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer says it is a cast-iron guarantee that Lyle Taylor will attract interest in the January transfer window – with the real question being whether the Championship outfit can keep him.
The Addicks striker is easing his way back into first-team action after being out since the end of August with knee ligament damage.
And Bowyer has revealed that Brentford, who failed with multiple bids at the end of the summer transfer window, had tried to sign Taylor before he had even played in the Championship.
The Montserrat international is out of contract at the end of June. He had scored five goals in the first six league fixtures before injury.
Asked if the fact Taylor is working his way back to full sharpness will prevent enquiries next month, Bowyer replied: “Not really, because they all know what he can do. At the start of the season he showed he can score goals in this division – and that’s what people were worried about.
“Plus we had clubs that came in for him in the summer anyway. Brentford tried to take him anyway – before he was even proven in the Championship.
“Do I think there will be other clubs coming in for him in January? One million per cent.
“It depends how much we want to keep him – that’s the big question – not if anyone is going to come in for him.”
East Street Investments have agreed a takeover deal but their proposed board of directors are waiting to be interviewed by the EFL as part of the owners and directors’ test.
Asked if new ownership would aid keeping Taylor, Bowyer replied: “Is there not a statement that he’s going to be one of the first things they are going to do when it goes through? Securing myself and our team – give us proper contracts – and secure Lyle. That’s what they’ve said, no?
“They are going to tie me and my staff down and they are going to tie Lyle down. But that’s if they take over. Let’s not go too far ahead, too quickly! It has to happen first.”
Bowyer was asked if Premier League approaches would also change Taylor’s situation.
He responded: “It will be the same as Karlan [Grant] last season [who joined Huddersfield in January]. If a Premier League club comes in then it becomes even more difficult to hold on to him. That’s just the nature of the game.”
Bowyer had hoped to save Taylor from duty in Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Huddersfield Town. The fact he brought him on means that the frontman will not be able to start in Friday’s fixture at home to Hull City.
The Charlton manager said: “Even when he comes on you can tell there is a massive difference for us – he holds the ball up and makes thing happen. Someone passed the ball to him and there’s a touched finish.
“He brings us what Lyle brings us. But it’s going to take a while for him to get back to where he was, because he was on fire for us at the start of the season.
“His fitness was unreal – he was flying. It’s not going to happen overnight, that’s why we’ve got to look after him.”
PICTURE BY KYLE ANDREWS
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