I wasn't at the Oldham game on the weekend, and it was surprising to see Karlan Ahearne-Grant in the starting eleven.

Many fans, including myself, thought Karl Robinson would go with either Joe Dodoo or Billy Clarke as the number nine. But just as he has done in pre-season, the Charlton boss put his faith in Ahearne-Grant.

He was subbed off in the 50th minute with a muscular injury.

The youngster was slated on social media during and after the game with supporters questioning whether he is good enough to start for Charlton. He did miss a one-on-one with the Latics’ goalkeeper just before Ricky Holmes’ opener. I’m not sure if that was why people criticised his performance.

But reading the negative tweets about Ahearne-Grant has me worried he could become the next Charlton scapegoat. Lee Novak and Andrew Crofts had that tag and before them Morgan Fox and Bradley Pritchard – a tag, in my opinion, which was very unwarranted.

News Shopper:

Andrew Crofts | Picture: Benjamin Peters Photography

Novak suffered an injury-plagued campaign, Crofts was a good experienced pro to have among the squad, while Fox and Pritchard were solid and reliable players for Charlton.

Ahearne-Grant was rushed into the Charlton first-team at just 17 years old in 2014 due to the lack of depth in the squad. Despite initially impressing, he struggled for confidence and was out of the first-team picture up until the latter stages of last season.

He came back in pre-season and looked sharp playing on the wing and in the number 10 role. Robinson was so happy with the Addicks academy graduate’s progress that he refused to send him out on loan.

MORE: Championship club still pursuing Charlton winger

Ahearne-Grant has starred for Charlton in cup matches this season, and made an appearance in every league game.

He looks like a different player to the one who was not ready to make the first-team step up at such a young age. And now, he is still only 19 so he will only get better.

We need to be patient with him - I can see him being a valuable player for Charlton this season.