Follow It's Round and It's White on Facebook

Could Jake Forster-Caskey be the link that Charlton need for promotion push?

Monday 30th January 2017
Having assisted two goals on his debut in Charlton Athletic's 2-1 away victory over Bolton, can Jake Forster-Caskey play a major role in securing a League One play-off finish for the Addicks?

The midfielder began his career at Brighton, becoming the club's youngest ever first-team debutant with his first professional appearance coming against Yeovil Town in May 2009.

After featuring in some matches in the Championship during the 2011/12 campaign, Forster-Caskey was sent out on loan to League Two, Oxford United, the following season, scoring three times in 16 league matches.

Once his loan spell had finished, Forster-Caskey returned to the Amex and featured 28 times during the 2013/14 season, scoring three goals while also making 29 appearances the following term.

However, the arrival of Chris Hughton saw Forster-Caskey with limited game time after the impressive performances of Dale Stephens and Beram Kayal in midfield.

Subsequently, the son of former Tottenham midfielder, Darren Caskey and the step-son of former Albion and Addick, Nicky Forster, was sent out on loan again this time to Karl Robinson's MK Dons.

The Southend-born playmaker featured eight times for the Dons but was unable to prevent them from being relegated to League One.

With the permanent signing of Steve Sidwell and the addition of Oliver Norwood, Brighton suggested that Forster-Caskey should seek another loan move, with Rotherham the new destination. However, the 12-time capped England U21 international only played six league matches for the Millers.

As his former manager, Robinson was now in charge of Charlton, Forster-Caskey received interest from the Addicks with a view to a permanent move.

Once a fee was agreed and with the loan spell at Rotherham terminated, Forster-Caskey was free to move to The Valley.

Just shortly before Charlton confirmed the deal, Forster-Caskey sent Robinson a text detailing his enthusiasm to join the club and signified his huge desire to help the Addicks get into the play-offs.

Having been confirmed as Charlton's second signing of the January transfer window, Forster-Caskey had a little while to wait before making his debut after being an unused substitute in the 0-0 draw with Millwall prior to the postponement of the Charlton vs Scunthorpe game due to a frozen pitch.

However, last Saturday, Forster-Caskey was given his debut against Bolton away at the Macron Stadium.

With Charlton down to ten men after Lewis Page was sent off for taking down Josh Vela having been the last man, the Addicks saw themselves fall to a goal behind courtesy of a fine Zach Clough free-kick.

But, Charlton, led by Forster-Caskey were determined to not let the man advantage bother them. After 23 minutes, the left-footed midfielder swung in a free-kick that was nodded home by Patrick Bauer before Forster-Caskey danced his way through the Bolton defence before supplying an inch-perfect pass to Nathan Byrne, who finished to give Charlton a 2-1 lead that was enough to take three points back to south-east London.

Following the match, all the praise was reserved for Forster-Caskey who was a clear ‘man of the match' contender.

“He's a talent,” said Robinson after the match to journalists.

“But don't be too easy on him, he needs to be better. If he performs like that for the next 7 or 8 games, I'll let him off on any average ones.”

So while his manager wants Forster-Caskey to stay grounded, the Addicks faithful cannot help but be excited with the addition of the 22-year-old.

He has a wonderful left-foot, is creative and can put in a decent tackle in the middle of midfield, an area that Charlton have struggled to fill during this season.

If he can repeat performances such as the one at the Macron Stadium, Charlton just may well have a chance of reaching that play-off spot that they desire.
Greg Stubley
Greg graduated with a first in Sports Journalism from the University of Brighton in Summer 2016 and has already managed to gain experience in the industry, working for companies such as Charlton Athletic and talkSPORT. Greg is currently the regular commentator on Charlton's "CAFCPlayerHD" service, bringing full-match live commentary along with Terry Smith of Addicks' games up and down the country for subscribers to listen.

Total articles: 45

Latest Opinion Articles