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Keeping last year's squad together was always main priority at Valley
1:20pm Tuesday 14th August 2012 in Sport
OUR new Charlton blogger MATIAS GREZ kicks off his first weekly column by looking at Chris Powell’s summer transfer dealings.
THE transfer window always produces no end of unfounded rumours, my personal favourite this year being: “My dad plays golf with Louis Saha’s best mate and he says he is definitely moving to Charlton."
Once the absurd ones have been dismissed, there has been a real sense of intrigue as Chris Powell certainly took his time to dip into the market.
Tying up Bradley Pritchard on a new two-year deal was his first course of action and it was certainly merited, with Pritchard proving himself to be a very handy squad player in the absence of Dale Stephens.
Ten days later came the best news of the off-season so far, the announcement club captain Johnnie Jackson had also put pen to paper on a new two-year deal.
Powell’s first summer signing was Stevenage’s 24-year-old defender-cum-winger Lawrie Wilson on a three-year deal, returning to the club where he started his career.
Although playing predominantly on the right side of midfield for the majority of last season, Powell said he sees Wilson as good cover and competition for last season’s outstanding performer Chris Solly.
The signing of Jordan Cook, Powell’s second of the summer, came soon after.
The 22-year-old forward was snapped up for free on a two-year deal after Sunderland decided not to renew his contract.
He has experience of playing in League One after scoring four goals in 14 appearances for Carlisle and arguably an additional striker was needed with Bradley Wright-Phillips at times being extremely wasteful when put through on goal.
However, on early viewing, in particular against Welling United, his playing style was similar to that of Scott Wagstaff as opposed to an out-and-out striker.
Powell’s third signing was Salim Kerkar, also on a free, who clinched a one-year deal after he impressed during a two-week trial in which he turned out for the club against Sporting Clube de Portugal and Barnet.
As a left winger, he offers much needed back-up for the midfield which last season looked at times unbalanced in the injury absence of Jackson.
More recent news has seen Yann Kermorgant follow Pritchard and Jackson by signing his own two-year contract with the option of a third year, meaning all three will now be at the club until 2014.
As much as new signings were needed to push the club forward, holding onto all of last season’s key players was always the priority.
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