Lee Bowyer has revealed Charlton’s talisman Lyle Taylor is one of three players who have said they will not play when the Championship resumes.
The season is due to restart on 20 June but the club’s top goalscorer, who is out of contract at the end of the month, has informed Bowyer he does not wish to play for fear an injury could threaten his chances of a “life-changing move”.
Bowyer compared Taylor’s influence at the relegation-threatened club to Troy Deeney’s at Watford and expressed disappointment. “Lyle is a big player for us, a bit like Deeney at Watford,” the Charlton manager told TalkSport.
“When he plays, we win games and Lyle has said he is not going to play because of the risk of injury. Chris Solly said the same. And [David] Davis, who is on loan from Birmingham, said he does not want to come back and play. We are three players down but it’s just another hurdle. We’ve got another 22, 23 players that do want to play and that’s the most important thing now.”
Bowyer added of Taylor: “He’s done great for us for two years and, in my eyes, you finish what you have started. Everyone has got their own decisions to make – I cannot force them. What disappoints me the most, and I’ve spoken to Lyle about it, [is that] he wants to play but he is so worried about getting injured he is saying: ‘I won’t be the same player for you.’
“It’s difficult because he’s so big [a player] for us. He’s going to get a life-changing move. If it wasn’t for Lyle, we wouldn’t even be in this division. He has chosen now not to come back and play until the end.”
Taylor has scored 11 goals in 22 league matches this season despite hamstring and thigh injuries. The 30-year-old, formerly of Falkirk and Bournemouth, joinedon a free from AFC Wimbledon two years ago and scored 25 goals to help the club to promotion.