Massively premature January transfer grades

Before we get slaughtered, yes it is far too early to judge the majority of Charlton’s January signings. But it’s a fun thing to do, so we’re going to do it anyway. 

The grades given to each of the new boys will be based on a number of different factors –  performances on the pitch so far, the type of transfer, any fee paid and future potential to name a few. All this and more will be considered to give each new signing a grade from A* for a resounding success, to F for a full on flop. Let’s get started…

Ronnie Schwartz – C-

Signed from – Midtjylland
Transfer details – Undisclosed fee (two-and-a-half year deal)

Ronnie seemed to be linked with a move to SE7 ever since fellow Dane Thomas Sandgaard first started sniffing around. Steve Gallen couldn’t quite get the deal over the line in the summer transfer window but Schwartz quickly became Charlton’s first January signing. There was much excitement surrounding his arrival – not only had Ronnie been the Danish Superliga’s top scorer last season, but paying a fee (albeit undisclosed) and tying a striker down through to 2023 was a real sign of intent. 

Ronnie opened his account for the Addicks in just his second appearance, coming off the bench to secure a point in a 4-4 thriller at home to Rochdale, giving Charlton fans a glimpse of his finishing prowess in the process. Since then, however, the 31-year-old has failed to find the net again despite playing in each of his new side’s next seven games. Ultimately, Schwartz was signed to score goals and he hasn’t done that anywhere near regularly enough yet. With two years left on his contract at the end of this season there is plenty of time for the Dane to come good, but so far he has failed to live up to the hype. 

Liam Millar – A-

Signed from – Liverpool
Transfer details – End-of-season loan

Millar was another early-January arrival and the 21-year-old impressed immediately. Bowyer’s side had been crying out for a pacey winger with a good end-product and the Liverpool loanee is exactly that. After finding his feet in his first few games, Millar has well and truly settled into his new side, scoring one and assisting three more in his last five games. Perhaps even more pleasingly, the Canadian international seems to be forging a promising partnership with top-scorer Chuks Aneke. Millar has provided the assist for each of Aneke’s goals in Charlton’s two most recent fixtures. 

All that stopped Millar achieving a higher grade is the likely short nature of his stint at The Valley. The speedy winger will be returning to Liverpool at the end of the season, and if he continues to impress as he has done so far Charlton’s chances of securing Millar’s services next season look slim. While a regular place in the Premier League champions’ starting eleven is unlikely, many a Championship club must be keeping a close eye on Charlton’s number 27. 

Jayden Stockley – A

Signed from – Preston North End
Transfer details – End-of-season loan

Has Stockley actually lost a header yet? The 27-year-old signed on loan for the remainder of the season to become Bowyer’s third signing of the January transfer window, and has been dominant in the air ever since. He seems to get his head to every ball that gets pumped up-field, and is often able to hold the ball up and link in with Charlton’s onrushing midfielders. The target man has also chipped in with a couple of goals already, unsurprisingly both coming via his head. 

Rumours are rife that Bowyer wants to make at least one, potentially two, of Charlton’s six loan signings permanent. It’s fair to say the majority of fans are hoping one of those players will be the six-foot-three Stockley. The hard-working front man has all the attributes to become a real fan favourite at The Valley, and will be key if Charlton are to go on a late season run and sneak into the play-off places. 

Matt Smith – C

Signed from – Arsenal
Transfer details – End-of-season loan

Matt Smith was Charlton’s first deadline day signing, arriving on loan from Arsenal until the end of the season. The 20-year-old was signed to bolster options in midfield following the departure of Dylan Levitt, Jonny Williams and Marcus Maddison. Smith has so far played just 14 minutes in a Charlton shirt, making it very hard to judge his impact to date. He did impress on loan at Swindon during the first half of the season though, scoring twice and recording four assists. 

Smith is a ball-playing midfielder, and has stiff competition in this role. Jake Forster-Caskey, Andrew Shinnie and Albie Morgan all appear to be ahead of the Arsenal loanee in the pecking order, and with Alex Gilbey’s return from injury imminent, Smith could find his playing time for the Addicks limited. 

Diallang Jaiyesimi – B

Signed from – Swindon Town
Transfer details – Undisclosed fee (three-and-a-half year deal)

Jaiyesimi followed Smith through the door from Swindon on deadline day, long after most Charlton fans assumed the club’s January dealings were done. The 22-year-old winger was enjoying a successful season after signing for Swindon on a free in the summer, chipping in with four goals and four assists, including one of each against Bowyer’s men. DJ signed for an undisclosed fee (rumoured to be six figures, but that doesn’t narrow it down too much) on a whopping three-and-a half year deal. 

Jaiyesimi has not had much of a chance yet to show what he can do, playing a grand total of 78 minutes in his two appearances for the club. What’s exciting about this transfer is his potential. DJ isn’t 23 until May, and his long-term deal keeps him at the club until past his 26th birthday in 2024. Bowyer likened him to Jonathan Leko thanks to his unpredictability in the final third, something that is sure to endear himself to Charlton fans. Here’s hoping he’ll be getting the Valley faithful off their seats for years to come. 

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