Steve Gallen is looking to use the January transfer window to add a bit of pace to Lee Bowyer’s squad.
The club’s Director of Football said he managed to get Christmas Day off but that work has been busy in preparation for the opening of the window on January 2nd.
Gallen, working with the Addicks’ staff, will have to factor in this season’s new salary cap when agreeing deals – you can read more about the salary cap by clicking here.
He said: “There is always speculation and people get excited during transfer windows. I always have a fair idea of what we can do. This year I want us to add some pace into our squad.
“Games are being called off, more games are being pushed back to the end of the season, so I think we need a few younger, fresher, athletic, enthusiastic players to come in and help us towards the end. Think back to two years ago, after January that is when we really took off, fingers crossed we can be there again. We’re working on these things every single day. The only day I wasn’t was Christmas Day thank goodness. I think we’ll be in a position in the next few weeks where we have a couple of players to help us through January.”
It was a busy summer for Gallen, who completed three signings before Thomas Sandgaard took over the club, and working with the new owner managed to secure nine players in just three weeks before the transfer deadline then adding Adam Matthews shortly after the window had closed.
Gallen is pleased to have Sandgaard at the club supporting his efforts but explained the salary cap does mean there are limitations.
He said: “We’re under the salary cap but there isn’t loads of room for manoeuvre but there is some things we can do.
“It is a bizarre situation, where anyone over 21, we can only pay a low wage to. Anyone under 21 we can pay a bit more too, as long as it is approved by our owner, who has been very good supporting us.”
Charlton’s footballing staff have had to deal with a variety of different styles over the last two years and Gallen is confident this window will be different from previous January windows.
“Lots of discussions are going on daily about how we can improve the team,” he explained, “there always is. We want to improve in January, we’ll try to improve and I believe we will improve. Certainly I believe this is a different situation from where we have been the last few years. Last season we were thinking just holding on to players at times and not losing them – Conor Gallagher for example and Lyle Taylor. These were players we were trying to keep hold of. Now you are thinking, because we have got support from the owner, ‘how can we add?’.
“It is a strange one with the wage cap, because the owner, Thomas, wants to support us, but he can only support us so much because of the salary cap. We’ll find a way to move things about and shuffle the pack to improve. We’re working on players every day and I believe at the start of January we will be able to get one or two players in and then see if we can do one or two more later in the month.
“You go into January and you put a lot of work in but you don’t know if someone is going to try and sign one of your players. You know who you want to sign and then something surprises you, two years ago that was Karlan Grant going to Huddersfield and then you are fighting to keep him, which we were, and then you have to have one eye on how you replace him. At that stage we didn’t really get the support to replace him but I think if anyone moved out now we would have the support to replace. Speaking to the owner, he is not looking to sell players, he is more interested in who we can get in to support the team, which is great for us.”