Darren Pratley may not be getting the headline of his midfield teammates but his contribution to Charlton’s start to the season has not been missed by Lee Bowyer.

Josh Cullen, Conor Gallagher and Jonathan Leko have all made strides this season but Pratley according to Bowyer is at the base of all that is good with his middle-men.

At 34-years-old many would be forgiven into thinking his best years are behind him, but this season he’s featured in 12 of Charlton’s 14 games and has become indispensable to Bowyer.

The elder statesman of the Addicks’ midfield, it’s fair to say he brings plenty of experience to a young midfield of Gallagher, 19, Cullen, 23, Leko, 20, and Sam Field 21, but there’s plenty of strings to his bow according to his manger.

“He’s here for a number of reasons!”

“First and foremost it’s because he’s a good player, we don’t bring bad players here.

“Experience is one reason why he’s here.

“Darren Pratley is not a player that will get the ball and go past three players and stick one in the top corner.

“That’s not what he’s good at.

“Darren Pratley is the player to break up, read the game and then give it to someone to do that.

“He gets the ball back so we can go on the attack.

“He’s very good at what he does.

“He’s been priceless.

“I think he’s played more this season than last season, it shows what a pro he is and what he means to us!”

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His early season form has earned the former Bolton man a contract extension meaning he will be at The Valley until the end of next season.

Fans Opinion

Upon his arrival many Charlton fans were unsure of Pratley’s arrival given his age, but those fans it seems have realised how integral the midfielder has been.