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Charlton Athletic owner Thomas Sandgaard: We’ve now got one of best attacks in League One


Thomas Sandgaard reckons Charlton’s January transfer window activity has left them with one of the best attacks in League One.

The Addicks’ final swoop before the deadline on Monday was to bring in exciting winger Diallang Jaiyesimi from Swindon Town.

The 22-year-old, formerly on Norwich City’s books, has signed a deal until the summer of 2024.

Charlton have also added two strikers – Jayden Stockley and Ronnie Schwartz – as well as rapid Liverpool loanee Liam Millar. Arsenal midfielder Matt Smith made a temporary switch to SE7 this week too.

Charlton dropped to eighth in the table after a 3-1 loss to Portsmouth. But Sandgaard always felt it would take time to rebuild the squad – with previous ‘owners’ East Street Investment under a transfer embargo from the start of 2020 due to their takeover not being approved by the EFL.

“The team had been totally decimated,” said the US-based Dane. “It had nothing left. You saw in the first few games of this season, before I took over, they could very well have been at risk of getting relegated again very quickly.

“With the 11-12 players we got in early on, that really helped us. They were some really strong additions to have a team there that could justify at least a mid-table position, if not better.

“The January window is difficult. The five signings we did were all offensive in nature. We really strengthened the team, in terms of creating chances and also having enough manpower to have something at the very front.

“We plugged holes.

“It’s still less than six months since I took over – we’ve strengthened the team a lot.

“We have had significant injury problems on our central defence, as we all know. We were unable to find central defenders who simply had enough quality. We were fishing for some, but it did not go our way.

“We were able to strengthen the midfield and especially on the flanks, where we have Liam Millar and Jaiyesimi on the other side. We improved our firepower up front significantly.

“There were a couple of players who left us and we got Ronnie Schwartz and Jayden in to help us, in addition to Conor Washington and Chuks Aneke.

“I pretty much believe we have one of the strongest offences in the league. Our midfield is now able to compete.

“And as we get injured players back in central defence, I would say we have one of the strongest teams – if not the strongest team – in the league.

“What Lee Bowyer is dealing with is a lot of new players. Most of them have only been here a few months or weeks. I’m very optimistic that the latter part of the season we will be doing well.

“Unfortunately we’re not in the top one or two, we have a lot of catching up to do. Let’s see what we can do.”

When Sandgaard took over in September he identified a top-six finish as the target. Bowyer described anything less than securing a play-off position as unsuccessful following the reverse to Pompey.

Director of football Steve Gallen has talked about being in a position to spend fees in the summer with Sandgaard possessing a financial muscle and intent not seen since the early part of the Roland Duchatelet era.

“Our focus has primarily been to strengthen the team for the remainder of the season, more than it has been to prepare for life in the Championship,” said the Addicks supremo.

“The amount of loan players we have is focused on getting us, at a minimum, a play-off position. We have the squad to do it now.

“The top two are beginning to look difficult to catch, unless they start having a bad period, a dip like we’ve had. If we make the assumption we will get promoted to the Championship then we have a lot of work to do, versus if we have to spend one more year in League One.”

Sandgaard’s commitment is now set to extend to also taking over Charlton Women.

Local businessman Stephen King had previously kept the FA Women’s Championship outfit afloat.

It will bring the two teams under the same ownership for the first time since 2007.

“I have loved my first few months in charge of the club and people will have probably seen that I’ve been bitten by the Charlton bug,” said Sandgaard. “”One of the first things I did when I was in London after the takeover was go and watch Charlton Athletic Women play. I knew then that I wanted to bring the two clubs back together.”

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One thought on “Charlton Athletic owner Thomas Sandgaard: We’ve now got one of best attacks in League One

  • This is great to hear, at last an owner who really cares. I have waited a long, long time for this. Despite recent setbacks, I am still an ardent admirer of Lee Bowyer and his staff. Sure, he does not always get it right, but we have to be patient and hope that when he finds the right balance for the team bearing in mind all the new players he has, it will fall into place. I think he needs to play 4 4 2 and ditch the diamond formation. He has the players to play the 4 4 2 formation now, my only worry is the defence. However, with the imminent return of Faniwa and later, Innis, that problem will be resolved. There are still enough games to be able to reach the play off, and by then, we will have a team that will be at its peak. Fingers crossed, all is not lost yet and a big thank you to Thomas Sandgaard for giving us long suffering fans great hope for the future


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