Corey Blackett-Taylor is having his best season in front of goal and the Charlton Athletic attacker reckons that studying the likes of Marcus Rashford, Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Junior has helped.
The 25-year-old left winger has scored six times in 24 matches this season, one more than he managed for Tranmere Rovers in the 2019-20 campaign, and still has another 15 League One fixtures remaining to add to his haul.
And League One stats show that Blackett-Taylor has the joint most dribbles (15) in the division – level with Plymouth’s Morgan Whittaker – and carries the ball the furthest average distance (15.30 metres). The 44 chances created off those is only bettered by Whittaker (46) and Bristol Rovers’ Aaron Collins (57).
Blackett-Taylor feels one of the reasons for his increase in front of goal is down to analysis, and that includes scoping out what some of Europe’s top attackers are doing.
“I’ve looked at some of the best players in the world with a similar playing style to me,” he told the South London Press. “The ones who like to come off the wing, have decent pace and a high goalscoring output.
“I’ve tried to implement some of the things which Rashford, Vinicius Junior and Mbappe do. They play on the left wing, they are really direct, fast and go both ways – that’s how I look at myself.
“It’s also about working with the team, so that it plays to my strengths and gets me into goalscoring opportunities. It’s about me being more goal-minded and a change of mentality.
“I want to look at myself as a goalscoring winger.
“It’s something I’ve always known I’m capable of doing, so it is great that I’ve really started to put it in place this season.
“I’d say in the past I wouldn’t have the same desire that I have now to score goals. I’d have good performances and impact games, but I’d more likely get an assist than a goal. I’d look to get down the line and set my team-mates up rather than make a run in behind and look to have a shot.”
Blackett-Taylor, Charlton’s joint second-top goalscorer behind fellow wideman Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, looks well-placed to reach double figures.
“I did have a target I set myself and I’m glad that I’m on course for that – that’s as much as I can say,” responded the former Aston Villa youngster. “I’m taking it game by game and looking to help the team as much as possible.”
It helps that Blackett-Taylor has searing pace.
Without inconsistencies in his end product, he has the physical attributes to play at a higher level and Wigan were sniffing around him in the January transfer window.
“Whenever we do sprints and stuff like that, I will have the highest speed,” said Blackett-Taylor. “It has been like that the whole time I’ve been at Charlton, there hasn’t been anyone who has come near the numbers I set.”
Blackett-Taylor initially arrived on a short-term deal in August 2021, a free agent after being let go by Tranmere. Three months later he signed a contract until the summer of 2023, with the Addicks holding an option to extend by a further 12 months.
“I just feel like there has been stuff going on with the club at the moment, it has been kind of difficult for them to speak with me on that,” said the attacker. “I haven’t really been focusing on that too much.
“The bigger picture for myself is just to get my own performances right and string them together.
“I feel like I have shown that this season with the improvements I’ve made on last season, that’s all I’ve really wanted to do.
“Whatever happens will happen at the end of the season. I can’t really give too much information because I don’t really know what is going on
“I’m not too concerned about that. I want to keep playing well for the club. We have a squad that should be doing better than what it has been doing but there are still 15 games to go. We just want to keep the good energy and spirit that we have in the team at the moment.
“The aim has to be for the hard work that we do in training to pay off in matches.”
League leaders Sheffield Wednesday arrive in SE7 tomorrow.
“It’s a good test, to show we can go toe to toe with these kind of teams,” said Blackett-Taylor.
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