Charlton Athletic have a history of having to sell some of their most talented young players to bigger clubs, with Miles Leaburn the latest Addicks youngster to be linked with a move away.

Leaburn has 11 goals in 32 league games this season, and The Sun is claiming that Aston Villa are the next club in line to swoop in for a Charlton academy graduate.

But what if The Addicks managed to keep all their best academy products?

We've put together the best starting XI of Charlton youth players that the League One club could field, if their best young players had stayed at the club.

Nick Pope


After joining the club in 2011 as a 19-year-old, Pope faced a series of loans away before breaking into the Charlton starting XI in the 2015/16 season. After Pope’s first full season as the Charlton number one, The Addicks were relegated from the Championship, and Burnley picked up the young goalkeeper for as little as £1 million.

Joe Gomez


Gomez broke into the Charlton first team aged 17. He only made 16 starts for The Addicks before Liverpool bought him for under £5 million.

Gomez began at Charlton as a right back, before Liverpool converted him into a versatile centre-back, who has also played on the left side of the defence for the Reds in the past.

Ezri Konsa


For most watchers of the Premier League, it feels like Konsa has always been part of the Villa back line. But before his time partnered with Tyrone Mings, Konsa was a youth player at Charlton, and even joined Brentford before his transfer to Villa.

Konsa made 86 appearances for Charlton in his two and a half years there but departed for Brentford in 2019.

Semi Ajayi


The West Brom centre-back started his professional career in the Charlton academy in 2012. Ajayi stayed at The Valley for a year, and just before he was due to breakthrough into the Charlton first team, the defender joined the Arsenal academy on a two-year deal.

Many years and many transfers later, Ajayi finds himself as one of the outstanding centre backs in the Championship, tallying over 100 appearances for West Brom.

Joe Aribo


After a successful trial with the club in 2015, Aribo signed with The Addicks, which is where he would stay for the next four years. But surprisingly, after earning promotion to the Championship, Aribo left to go and play for Rangers.

It was a transfer that raised some eyebrows at the time, but since then Aribo has scored in the Europa League final, and earnt himself a £6 million transfer to Southampton.

Jonjo Shelvey


Shelvey’s debut for Charlton came when he was only 16 in 2004. He scored 16 goals in 23 appearances for Charlton’s youth teams, which earnt him his first senior appearance in 2008. Shelvey went on to make 49 appearances for Charlton before he was bought by Liverpool in 2010.

Scott Parker


Scott Parker joined Chelsea in 2004, but before that he made 127 appearances for Charlton in the seven years that he spent there. Parker went on to have a great career and play for some of the Premier League’s top clubs, including West Ham, Spurs and Newcastle.

Carl Jenkinson


Jenkinson joined Charlton as a seven-year-old in 2008 and only made nine appearances before leaving to join Arsenal in 2011. The boyhood Arsenal fan went on to win an FA Cup with the gunners, despite never being their first choice right back. He has since had spells with West Ham and Nottingham Forest, and is now playing for Newcastle Jets in Australia.

Ademola Lookman


Despite only being 25 years old, Lookman has played for some of the top clubs across Europe. He’s played for RB Leipzig, Atalanta and Leicester City, but it all started for him at Charlton in 2015. Lookman scored 10 goals in 44 games for Charlton, before earning himself a transfer to Everton in 2017.

Jermaine Defoe


Defoe started his career at Charlton when he was 14 years -old, but left only two years later to join West Ham. Despite never making an appearance for Charlton, Defoe makes this team as he went on to become one of the most prolific strikers England has ever seen, scoring 162 goals in the Premier League.

Stephy Mavididi


Due to injury, in Mavidid’s two loan spells with Charlton he amassed just two goals and played only 19 matches. But since then, Mavididi has gone on to play for Juventus and Dijon, before settling at Montpellier. The English winger has 19 goals and seven assists in his time with Montpellier and only looks to be improving.

Formation: 3, 4, 3

Goalkeeper: Pope

Defence: Konsa, Gomez, Ajayi

Midfield: Jenkinson, Shelvey, Parker, Aribo

Attack: Mavididi, Defore, Lookman

The team would play in a three-four-three formation, with both Jenkinson and Aribo as wing-backs. Although neither have actually played as wing-backs in the past, Aribo’s offensive attributes will contribute to the mountain of goals that this top-heavy side is destined to score. And Jenkinson (I’m sure to his disappointment) will have to take up a more defensive role.

Shelvey and Parker will play as the two central midfielders and will look to protect the back three of Konsa, Gomez and Ajayi. Hopefully the three defenders can make up for the lack of pace in the midfield (if the opposition can ever get the ball off of us, that is). 

The offense is arguably the strongest part of the team. With the main goal of this attacking line being to just get the ball to Jermaine Defoe. Although Mavididi and Lookman are more than capable of scoring fine goals on their own, (with a journalist even comparing Mavididi to a cross between Neymar and Mbappe at one point) Jermaine Defoe at his peak could score goals from anywhere, and be a threat to any team in the league.