What next for Lyle Taylor?
It may seem strange that we’re dedicating an article to Lyle Taylor. We've absolutely loved him this in the Championship.
However, his transfer ‘saga’ is one of great interest to many Championship clubs, given his obvious qualities.
Now, whether you think he’s right or wrong is a different debate for another day. Personally, he’s well within his right to not carry on once his contract expires. And obviously whether he agrees to a contract. Charlton had the chance to sell him in January, but sources say Charlton pulled the plug on the deal.
This is a scenario that could have been avoided.
What’s happening with Lyle
Covid-19 has changed how the transfer window is going to work.
Firstly, finances may be a bit tighter for your club. Secondly, that may mean more players are released on June 30, and some are kept on until the end of the season.
That leaves Lyle Taylor in the situation he’s in. He’s leaving Charlton rather than stay on until the end of the current season. He’s the first player who’s been vocal in not wanting to carry on into the rest of the current season despite being offered a contract to do so for Charlton Athletic.
Why he’s a popular man
Well, he’s a goalscorer. At Championship level, that’s vital.
11 goals in 22 games in the second tier this season, despite long periods out injured giving a fair indication of his qualities. And it’s no fluke. 65 goals in 172 games before this season prove that he’s right in his peak.
A free transfer as well you say? Why wouldn’t there be a queue of clubs lining up to snap him up?
Well there is a queue. According to Sky Sports, there are 12 clubs in for Lyle Taylor. Burnley, Sivasspor, Galatasaray and Rangers have all been linked, as well as a host of Championship clubs.
So, naturally we’ll focus on the Championship clubs. Specifically 5 who we think could use a striker like Lyle Taylor.
1. Nottingham Forest
Forest have at times have struggled this season to put teams to bed. They have been somewhat shy in front of goal.
Of the sides in the top 6 currently, they’re the lowest scorers with just 48. Their game is based on organised, structured football but there have been occasions where they’ve lacked a goalscorer when Lewis Grabban has either been out of form, or injured.
Taylor won’t be wanting to play second fiddle, but considering Grabban is 32 and past injury problems, there might be a route for Taylor.
2. Swansea City
A peculiar choice perhaps.
But Swansea City seems the perfect destination. A young squad, with an average age of 24, an ‘old head’ could propel Swansea City into play-off contention (should it not happen this season of course).
In addition, with Borja Baston gone, Rhian Brewster on loan until the end of the season and the Swans looking to reduce their wage bill, leaving Andre Ayew in limbo. That leaves a huge gap up front, and an experienced goalscorer like Taylor could do a lot of harm in slick Swansea side.
3. Preston North End
A perfect solution for Preston as one thing they have lacked is consistent goalscorer. They’ve lurked in and around the play-offs for a number of years, and not having a reliable number 9 is something that has held them back.
Since their first season back in the Championship in 2015/16, they haven’t had a player score more than 13 (Callum Robinson in 18/19).
They have goalscorers, but none that are likely to hit you 15/20 goals. Sometimes the difference between finishing inside or out the top 6.
An obvious choice given they had a bid rejected in the summer and winter transfer windows of the current season. He’s a goalscorer and certainly has the lethal touch that would suit playing for Brentford.
However, given Brentford’s transfer philosophy and huge emphasis on future resale value, it may not be a transfer they revisit. In addition to that, he’d almost certainly play second fiddle to Ollie Watkins should he remain at Brentford for next season.
5. Leeds United
On paper, it looks the right move.
Leeds haven’t had a ruthless goalscorer like other sides have in the Championship and at times, it looked like it might hold them back. However, with promotion a very likely scenario, they might start planning for their first season back in the Premier League since 2004.
But, is he the right fit for Leeds? They’re probably looking elsewhere if they're plotting for life in the Premier League, but for a free transfer who might be a good back up, it’s worth a consideration for Bielsa.
Should he stay or should he go?
In conclusion, of the current teams in the Championship, the 5 above seem most logical and most likely. Whether you think Lyle Taylor is the man to fill the void, he will have options and the clubs in this list should certainly be at least enquiring about him.
However, it does seem likely that he will be leaving England, whether that’s a move to the SPL or the Turkish Superlig. Wherever he ends up, from a neutral perspective, it's a damn shame we won't see that penalty run up again this season.