Lee Bowyer's first 5 signings as Charlton Athletic manager - Where are they now? | OneFootball

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Football League World

·17 September 2023

Lee Bowyer's first 5 signings as Charlton Athletic manager - Where are they now?

Article image:Lee Bowyer's first 5 signings as Charlton Athletic manager - Where are they now?


  • Lyle Taylor, the catalyst for Charlton's promotion, is currently a free agent and struggling to find a new club after a failed stint at Nottingham Forest.
  • Darren Pratley, the experienced midfielder, is still going strong at 38 and currently captains Leyton Orient.
  • Jed Steer, the shot-stopper, is also currently a free agent and has not played first-team football for over a year after a decline in influence at Aston Villa.

The 2018/19 League One campaign remains etched in the memories of Charlton Athletic supporters to this day.

Under the tuition of former-player Lee Bowyer, the Addicks avenged their failure at the penultimate play-off hurdle in the previous campaign to trump Sunderland at Wembley and return to the Championship following a three-year hiatus - and that all started in the summer transfer window.

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Bowyer made a host of signings both then and in January that proved pivotal to their second-tier return, and Charlton fans can only dream of that success being replicated now.

With that in mind, we have decided to run through the first five signings of Bowyer’s reign and take a look at where they are now…

Lyle Taylor

Very much the catalyst for Charlton’s promotion, Bowyer’s first acquisition proved an invaluable one.

The striker scored 21 times and laid on a further nine for Charlton, before transporting that form into the Championship by finding the back of the net on no less than 11 occasions despite playing just 22 times.

That said, however, he departed the club under controversial circumstances amid the COVID-19 pandemic and has never quite found his feet since.

An unsuccessful stint with Nottingham Forest followed, and while Taylor was semi-prolific on loan with Birmingham City, he simply has not put enough credit in the bank to earn a fresh move after leaving the City Ground this summer.

Now aged 33, Taylor remains a free agent and it will be interesting to see where his next move takes him.

Darren Pratley

Meanwhile, the experience and leadership of Pratley was also a driving force in the success that Charlton achieved with Bowyer at the helm.

The veteran midfielder arrived after departing Bolton Wanderers and exceeded 100 appearances across a three-year period.

He has now spent the last two years playing for Leyton Orient, whom he currently captains, and is still going strong at the ripe old age of 38.

Jed Steer

On the other hand, longevity has evaded shot-stopper Steer.

The 30-year-old joined on loan from Aston Villa that summer and made 19 League One appearances before being recalled due to a goalkeeping crisis.

Steer’s influence at Villa Park soon waned, however, and he is also now a free agent, having gone over a year without playing first-team football.

Krystian Bielik

Bielik arrived as Bowyer’s fourth signing, coming in on loan from Arsenal.

His pedigree showed as he scored four times that season while installing an added combination of tenacity and composure on the ball, traits that have since seen him go on to be a regular in the Championship.

The 11-cap Poland international is now back at Birmingham City after making his temporary move from Derby County last term a permanent one, and could yet go on to reach new heights if he can enjoy a clean bill of health.

Josh Cullen

No doubt the biggest success story on this list as things stand, Cullen serves to speak volumes of Bowyer’s eye for talent.

Still on the books of West Ham United at the time, Cullen’s performances warranted a loan return upon their promotion to the Championship, where he then impressed despite relegation and promptly earned a move to Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht.

For the following two seasons, he was a constant under the Manchester City icon, who later decided to bring him to Burnley last year.

There, Cullen proved a crucial component of Kompany’s promotion winning side and befitted his possession-based values by helping the Clarets to dictate games, and he will be just as influential if they are to stay in the Premier League this time around.

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