One of the upsides of being stretched for funds is that it gives more space for youngsters to break into the first team. Last season it was Callum Harriott. Now opportunity presents itself for Jordan Cousins. Coming on against Barnsley, he played a key role in salvaging a point for the Addicks.
This year's handbook says 'Highly rated Cousins is looking to make his mark on the first team as he waits for his debut in professional football.' Well, he has made his mark and many fans would like to see him start in midfield on Saturday. Of course, one has to be careful about damaging a player's development by expecting too much of him to soon. But the midfield has been insipid and he could bring some needed sparkle.
As the Financial Times pointed out this weekend Premier League clubs are full of young players on relatively high salaries who never get near the first team and find their development stunted as a result. One of the advantages of playing for Charlton is that you do get your chance if you are good enough.
One of his strengths as a player is his versatility. He can play at right back and in central defence as well as midfield and indeed is formally classified as a defender. However, 'His cool-headed demeanour has served him well in his ability to control the midfield, while he is also capable of explosive bursts down the right, adding a dimension to the club's attacking play.'
Cousins was born in Greenwich (always a recommendation in my book) and joined the club at under-13 level. His leadership skills were evident when he led Charlton to the FA Youth Cup quarter finals in 2011/12. He played a key role in the successful U21 side last season. International honours include leading the England U16s to the Victory Shield in 2009.
He might help us to shed the label of 'Championship strugglers' that is already been attached to us.'
Cousins talks about the experience of scoring on his league debut here: Cousins