Deji Elerewe was pleased to put pen to paper and commit his future with the club until 2024.
The promising young centre back has signed a new contract committing his future with the club for at least another three years, after bursting onto the scene with great performances for the first team across many competitions, including two appearances in League One.
“It feels great, honestly I love being at Charlton every minute of the day,” said the 18-year-old, "Charlton is a great club and I love to spend my time here.
“I'm very pleased, it's been surreal, I said it before, I didn't expect myself to be here. I thought maybe I’d be in and around the U23s and the first team, but now being here it is very very surreal.”
When asked about the skipper, Jason Pearce, who coached him as an U15, Deji had nothing but praise: “He's a great role model for me, always willing to help, great coach, great person. I really appreciate him and the rest of the boys as well, anytime I need them they are always here to help me improve.”
Elerewe commits his future to SE7 after many good quality performances across a variety of competitions so far this season. Despite turning 18 just two months ago he has impressed so far this season, looking comfortable on the ball and playing with confidence. Making his first team debut within the Addicks’ Carabao Cup campaign earlier on this season against AFC Wimbledon.
“When I first came in I was a bit nervous, but now I feel at home with them, they're all great lads,” he admitted.
When asked if the new contract comes with a burst of confidence, “You can’t get too confident sometimes, you have to listen to what everyone else has to say, so I try to get their point of view across as well.”
Elerewe joined the Addicks at U13 level and has since gone on to make multiple first team appearances this season, so when asked what his next goal is he had to say, “Just trying to keep getting back into the team, keep playing in the league, get more appearances under my belt and who knows what’s next.”
“I see the likes of Ezri Konsa, Joe Gomez, even back then with Jonjo Shelvey, they've trusted the club to show them the way and now the club has given them the opportunity to play at a higher level, so I hope they can do it for me as well.
“I'm very proud because my family have been there for me since the beginning of my football career so it's nice for them to be here with me when I've made my first professional debut, it shows that all my hard work and all their hard work, and my brother as well, who wasn't here today, all his hard work has now caused this to happen for me."
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“There are a lot of important members of staff who have made me who I am today, people like; Anthony Hayes, Steve Avory, Hamza Serrar, even Jason Euell and Johnnie Jackson the gaffer.”
Elerewe highlighted the significance of Steve Avory and just how much his guidance has impacted his career and helped shape him into the player he is today.
“I think Steve Avory has made me realise, this under 17s/18s period he has given me the confidence to show my ability and even Ant [Hayes] as well giving me these extra training sessions when I needed them, going through my clips, he’s really helped me become the player I am today.”
Article by Alex Forrest
The Addicks are back in action at The Valley on November 20th for the visit of Plymouth Argyle. Supporters can purchase their tickets here.