Lee Bowyer admits there must “be something wrong” that Marcus Maddison was still a free agent this summer before signing a deal at Charlton Athletic.
The 27-year-old attacker penned a 12-month contract yesterday with the League One club with the option of a further year on top.
Maddison was a star performer for Peterborough United and the Addicks were keen on landing him in January – only for East Street Investments inability to put funds into the SE7 outfit meaning the efforts of Bowyer and director of football Steve Gallen were all in vain.
Instead he signed on loan for Hull City for the second part of the 2019-20 season.
Maddison scored once in seven appearances for the Tigers, who did not pursue a transfer despite their relegation to the third tier.
But the former Newcastle United youngster was a huge threat in the final third for the Posh. He scored 62 goals in 249 matches – including 92 assists.
“What I said to him is ‘you shouldn’t be waiting around for a club’,” said Bowyer. “With his ability he shouldn’t be. If you look at his stats in the last two or three years he keeps on getting strikers a move.
“Ivan Toney has just got a move, the lad who went to Derby got a move and the lad before that got a move – because he provided goals for them but also scores. In the last few seasons he has assisted 15 and scored 10 – that’s 25 goals a season provided for his team. On those stats you should not be sitting around.”
But Maddison was still available as the transfer window nears a close. And what’s more, he has ended up signing on terms that are a fraction of what he could have commanded in previous windows.
The questions over his character and temperament continue to swirl.
“There’s got to be something wrong somewhere – otherwise he would be playing in the Championship,” said Bowyer.
“He should be…we tried to take him in January. Me and Steve were allowed to speak to him and drove all the way to Peterborough to speak to him in the middle of the night.
“I don’t know why he isn’t playing in the Championship. I’ve spoken to him about it and that’s a private conversation, I won’t go into too much detail. Now it’s time for him to knuckle down and maybe polish up on things people might not like.
“Lyle [Taylor] was the same – and I said that to him.
“He was playing for a bottom four side in League One for years and now he’s at a top-six side in the Championship. Just trust what I tell you and then you’ll be okay.
“There’s been a lot of managers tried to work with him and ability wise there is no questions. People I’ve spoken to have said he’s a genius. But my job will be to change the other bits around – so we only have positives and no negatives. I did it with Lyle and I’ll try and do it again.
“He can play anywhere – right, left and as a number 10. He provides goals and scores goals, something we’ve lacked. In the last two seasons we’ve relied heavily on our strikers and whoever is playing 10 – Conor Gallagher scored six goals before January.
“People chip in with ones and twos for the season but that is not enough when you play in the attacking third. It’s something we needed to bring to the team.”
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