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Charlton Athletic: Keeping Derby and Tottenham target would be major statement from Nathan Jones – View

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  • ces a tough decision on staying with Charlton or moving to higher divisions; fans await his choice.

If Charlton Athletic boss Nathan Jones can persuade left back Thierry Small to sign a new long-term contract, it would create a real sense of optimism going into the summer transfer window.

Jones arrived at The Valley at the beginning of February, just three days after Small had signed for the club on a free transfer after mutually terminating his Southampton contract.

The exciting wing-back did not make an appearance in either of Jones’ first two games in the dugout. The Welshman decided to start Small in a tough fixture away at Bolton Wanderers, where he scored on his debut in a 3-3 draw and put in a spirited performance that immediately endeared him to the Charlton fans. From that day, he started all of Charlton’s League One fixtures until the end of the season.

 

Record for Charlton Athletic, according to Transfermarkt
Player Name Games Played Wins Draws Defeats Goals Assists
Thierry Small 14 4 9 1 1 1

 

The Addicks signed Small on a short-term deal which they have the option to extend until the summer of 2025. Small was also offered a long-term contract at the end of April, although it remains to be seen whether he opts to sign it or seeks a move away from SE7.

Derby and Spurs interested in Small

Small’s strong start in a Charlton shirt has attracted the interest of clubs in higher divisions. Derby County, who will be playing Championship football next season, are reportedly interested in signing the 19-year-old as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of returning to the second tier.

It will be interesting to see whether the Rams have the financial muscle to sign Small, who will be contracted until at least 2025. When they signed Corey Blackett-Taylor from Charlton in January, the winger was initially loaned until the end of the season to delay the payment of the transfer fee.

The other club that Small has been linked to is Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur. It is believed that Spurs are long-term admirers of the defender, who has featured on the bench in the top flight for Southampton. Tottenham are unlikely to be put off by the transfer fee that would be required to bring Small to north London, so it will come down to the player’s decision if a deal is agreed.

Small has a big decision to make on Charlton future

Many fans will assume that the prospect of moving from League One to the Premier League is too good to turn down. However, in Small’s case, it may not be such a straightforward decision.

The youngster has already been on the books at Premier League clubs. He made his professional debut for Everton, where he became their youngest ever player after coming on as a substitute in an FA Cup tie under Carlo Ancelotti, but he decided not to sign professional terms at Goodison Park.

Small instead decided to join Southampton in search of first team football. He spent some time on loan at Port Vale, before he was recalled to St Mary’s by current Charlton manager Jones, and St Mirren. Small featured in the FA Cup for the Saints, but he was unable to break into the first-team squad in either the Premier League or the Championship.

Nathan Jones and Kyle Walker-Peters

The 14 games that Small has played for Charlton are the only times he has played in the league for a club he is permanently contracted to. He is playing under a manager he knows in Jones, who wants to work with him for the long-term and has helped him find the form that has attracted transfer interest.

Convincing Small to sign a new long-term deal would be a real statement of intent from Jones, especially when you consider the calibre of the clubs that are interested in him.

Small has spent most of his career so far searching for regular first-team football. Now that he has it, he should stay at Charlton and be part of Jones’ rebuild going forward.

 

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