Charlton manager Chris Powell has escaped the winter weather to jet off to Spain, but he is in Madrid to run the rule over some Charlton prospects, reports Richard Cawley of the South London Press: Powell
I was quite surprised to learn that chief scout Phil ('Chapel of Rest') Chapple has good contacts in Europe, but perhaps I am doing him a disservice. Somehow I don't see him as speaking any continental languages, but probably the international language of football serves well enough.
Without a database, I can't remember all the Spanish players we have signed in recent years, although my impression is that they had not always been an outstanding success. It may not be so easy for them to fit in as a French-speaking player who can converse with Yann Kermorgant or Ceddy Evina. I recall Semedo having problems with English when he came, but then he is Portuguese which is quite a different language. I am struggling to learn some at the moment as it is becoming increasingly useful in Leamington where we have a large Portuguese/Brazilian community and there is a need to get beyond saying 'Bom Dia' and ordering your coffee. It's quite evident there is a lot of interest in football in the Portuguese café I frequent.
Miguel Llera stands out and, of course, he went to Sheffield Wednesday. I thought he was a bit of a lump who could occasionally produce a good ball or score a goal, but was equally capable of creating a calamity all on his own, as we nearly saw when the Owls came to The Valley. Then there was 'Bovver' who has gone off to New York.
So will Chris Powell pick up some possible bargains in Madrid? Coming to play in England, and in London in particular, should be attractive to a Spanish player below the top flight, particularly given the financial mess that many Spanish clubs are in.